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Preventing Traumatic Brain Injuries

— September 15, 2023

Although patients can take many steps to prevent brain injuries, some accidents are virtually unavoidable.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 70,000 people in the United States lost their lives to brain injuries in 2021 alone. The CDC also stresses that brain injuries can affect people of all ages, including children, seniors, and adults. A study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information states that in addition to physical issues, brain injuries can lead to psychological issues like “persisting sense of loss, failure to fulfill dreams, and negative feelings from others.” These concerns make preventing traumatic brain injuries a clear priority whenever possible. While preventative steps should be prioritized, brain injury victims can take reactive steps to improve outcomes. This may include getting in touch with a personal injury law firm in Oregon, such as Schauermann Thayer. A successful personal injury claim can help to secure access to optimal  treatment for brain injuries, so call (360) 695-4244 to discuss your legal options today. 

The Leading Causes of Brain Injuries in Oregon

The first step in preventing brain injuries is understanding the root causes of these injuries. The CDC has determined the leading causes of brain injuries in the United States:

  • Falls: A leading cause for brain injuries in the United States, falls disproportionately affect seniors. A slip and fall accident can occur at the residence of a senior or in a public space, such as a shopping mall or government building. 
  • Motor vehicle crashes: The CDC states that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of TBIs (traumatic brain injuries) that require hospitalization. Motor vehicle crashes might include bicycle crashes, motorcycle crashes, bus crashes, truck accidents, and pedestrian accidents. 
  • Assaults: Assaults and violence are another major cause of TBI-related death in the United States. Specifically, firearm-related suidice is the leading cause of TBI-related death in the nation. 
  • Sports: Sports feature prominently among causes of brain injuries in the United States. The Brain Injury Research Institute reports that up to 4 million sports or recreation-related concussions occur each year across the United States. They also state that 10% of all contact sports athletes suffer concussions on a continuous, annual basis. 

The Importance of Seeking Immediate Medical Attention

Medical treatment cannot prevent brain injuries from occurring in the first place, but it can prevent brain injuries from becoming worse. Many patients fail to seek medical attention after suffering a brain injury, and this cavalier response may lead to serious health risks. Deciding not to seek medical attention may also make it more difficult to prove the cause and extent of the brain injury, which can become an issue if patients decide to file personal injury lawsuits to seek compensation for their brain injuries, for example. Speak with Schauermann Thayer to learn more about whether your situation may be appropriate for legal compensation. 

There have been numerous cases in which brain injury patients have suffered brain bleeds, hematomas, and other issues without fully realizing the extent of their own ailments. These patients may suffer unexpected deaths due to the effects of initially unrecognized or underestimated brain injuries. Even if patients are under the impression that they have suffered a relatively light knock to the head, it is imperative that they seek medical attention from a qualified healthcare professional as soon as possible. Early intervention and testing can spot serious issues before they become worse. Tests such as MRIs can detect the presence of potentially life-threatening issues, such as hematomas. 

Steps To Prevent or Reduce Brain Injuries

Brain injury graphic; image courtesy of Mohamed Hassan, via
Brain injury graphic; image courtesy of Mohamed Hassan, via

There are a number of steps people in Oregon can take to prevent brain injuries. The specific preventative measures depend on the type of accident:

Preventing Brain Injuries in Auto Accidents

One of the easiest ways to prevent a brain injury in an auto accident is to buckle up. A 2021 article published in the World Journal of Emergency Medicine states that “not wearing a seatbelt is significantly associated with having a worse head injury.” Younger passengers may require additional safety precautions. Proper use of baby seats is essential, and younger passengers should avoid seats that pose an airbag-related brain injury risk. 

Preventing Brain Injuries in Bicycle Accidents

Cyclists should strive to wear helmets as an obvious preventative measure against head injuries. Although the efficacy of helmets may be overstated in some studies, this safety gear can still reduce brain injuries to a significant degree. 

Preventing Falls Among Seniors

Seniors and their caretakers can take a number of steps to prevent head injuries caused by falls. The first step is to eliminate fall hazards within the senior’s residence if they are aging at home. This might include the installation of non-slip flooring, automatic outdoor lights, wall handles in bathrooms, and much more. On the other hand, there is little seniors can do to avoid fall hazards on public property. 

Reach Out to Oregon Personal Injury Lawyers

Although patients can take many steps to prevent brain injuries, some accidents are virtually unavoidable. Those who have suffered brain injuries may wish to discuss their legal options alongside experienced personal injury attorneys in Oregon. Contact Schauermann Thayer at (360) 695-4244 to learn more. 

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