Who is Most at Risk for an Acquired Brain Injury?
Brain injuries are often some of the most surprising injuries because the range of accidents that produce them is vast. Many minor injuries, like a concussion, go away on their own with rest and observation. Other injuries are more severe and can affect your or your loved one’s life in a meaningful way. Knowing who is most at risk of suffering from a brain injury can help you take preventative steps and react appropriately in the event of an injury.
Generally, some type of impact to the brain, including penetrating injuries that affect the way the brain normally functions, cause traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Falls are the most common cause of TBIs while other causes may include car accidents, assault, or blunt force impacts. At-risk demographics include:
- Older persons. Brain injury commonly occurs in the age range of 65 and older. Falling is the most common cause of death in this demographic.
- Children. Young children from newborns to the age of four are also at a high risk for brain injury. Skull development of young children can impact the severity of an injury, and this demographic is more susceptible to injury by falling. Assaults are the leading cause of death by brain injury in this category.
- Young adults. Young adults between the ages of 15 and 24 are also at risk for brain injury. Many individuals in this category are new to driving, increasing the risk of brain injury as a result of vehicle accidents. Playing sports commonly causes other brain injuries.
- Men. Men are twice as likely to suffer from brain injuries as women, and they are nearly 3x as likely to die from their injuries. Causes of brain injuries in this category stem from a variety of factors including substance abuse, being struck by an object, assault, and vehicle accidents.
- Individuals who drink alcohol. Around half of all brain injuries involve alcohol use – either the injured person or the person inflicting the injury was under the influence.
- Athletes. Sports like soccer, baseball, football, rugby, lacrosse, hockey, skateboarding, and others are all considered high-impact. Players can decrease the chance of injury by wearing appropriate headgear.
The time of year and time of day also have a bearing on the risk of incurring a brain injury. Most brain injury accidents happen between mid-afternoon and early evening when children are out of school. Weekends and summer months also increase the risk of injury.
Symptoms of Injury
While some individuals are more at risk for brain injury than others, everyone has the potential for suffering a brain injury in day-to-day life. Knowing how to recognize the symptoms could help you save someone’s life. If you notice a loss of consciousness, headache, vomiting or nausea, dizziness, severe fatigue, or disorientation, call 911 or a healthcare provider immediately. A brain injury can also cause mood changes, concentration problems, sensitivity to light and sound, and changes in vision. A medical professional will be able to provide more information about brain injuries and whether the victim needs immediate medical attention.
Seeking Legal Advice
In some cases, like car accidents, assaults, and workplace accidents, you may need to contact a West Virginia personal injury lawyer to determine liability and take legal action. If you or a loved one experienced a brain injury caused by the negligence of someone else, you don’t have to suffer on your own through financial troubles and the loss of quality of life. Contact the brain injury attorneys at Tiano O’Dell, PLLC for a free consultation. Our team can help you determine the best course of action for your injury recovery plan and help you get back to your life.