March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, and the 355th Medical Group is doing its part to draw attention to this medical issue. The 355th MDG is providing information about traumatic brain injuries: what they are, how they are caused and how the risk of sustaining a TBI can be avoided.
A TBI is a blow or jolt to the head, or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. A TBI can be caused by a fall, car crash, workplace accident, assault or other incidents to include combat related injuries.
“Most TBIs take care of themselves,” said Donna Carlson, 355th MDG medical management nurse. “We treat mild TBIs, such as concussions, here. Most people heal from those on their own, but we can give medication to help with pain such as a headache.”
Of the yearly reported TBIs, about 75 percent are concussions or other forms of mild TBI. However, if you have a head injury and are experiencing any of the following problems, see your doctor right away or go to an emergency room. Be aware that some symptoms can show up as a month later.
Each year 1.7 million people, including 475,000 children, sustain in TBI in the U.S.
“Teens, young adults are most likely to receive TBIs,” Carlson said. “That is because they are more likely to be injured from playing sports, reckless behavior or military related matters.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that the U.S. spends more than $76 billion in medical costs as a direct or indirect result of TBIs each year.
For more information about TBIs and how you can detect them, contact the 355th MDG Case Management Department at 228-2664 or the Brain Injury Association of America at 1-800-444-6443 or visit their website at www.VIAUSA.org.
Symptoms of TBI
- Severe headache that does not go away or get better
- Seizures, eyes fluttering, body going stiff or staring into space
- Forgetting everything, amnesia
- Hands shake, tremors, muscles get weak, loss of muscle tone
- Nausea or vomiting that returns
- Changes in your behavior and feeling, you thinking or how you communicate with others
- Pain balance problems, changes in appetite, hearing or vision
- Problems sleeping