September 15th: National Concussion Awareness Day
September 15, 2023
Each year in mid-September, the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) promotes awareness of concussions through this important campaign. This year, National Concussion Awareness Day falls on September 15th. Through engaging in meaningful conversation, the BIAA hopes to reduce stigma, amplify the voices of survivors, and promote a better understanding of the invisible epidemic of concussions.
Traumatic Brain Injuries: What Are Concussions?
Concussions are a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI). A traumatic brain injury is a brain dysfunction typically caused by an external force, like a violent blow to the head. Some of the most common causes of TBIs are automobile accidents, workplace injuries, or serious sports injuries. Just like a traumatic brain injury, a concussion, or MTBI (mild traumatic brain injury), is a brain injury caused by a blow to the head or by violent shaking of the head and/or body. Though there are different levels of severity, all concussions affect a person’s overall brain function. The effects of a concussion are typically temporary, but they still cause a variety of issues including headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance and coordination.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 190 Americans died every day from TBI-related injuries in 2021. The year before, more than 214,000 people were hospitalized for TBI-associated injuries. Adults and younger people both face significant concussion risks: according to the CDC’s most recent data, in 2019 approximately 15% of high-school students self-reported one or more sports or recreation-related concussions within the preceding 12 month-long period. Here are a few other important facts from the CDC on traumatic brain injury:
- There were over 69,000 TBI-related deaths in the United States in 2021
- People most commonly sustain traumatic brain injuries from falls, motor vehicle crashes, or assault
- TBIs can lead to short- or long-term health complications. Some people recover from their injury in a few weeks or months, while others experience ongoing problems for years
- Traumatic brain injuries that occur during childhood can disrupt a child’s development. They can also limit a child’s ability to participate in school and other activities, like sports
- Older adults are more likely to be hospitalized and die from TBIs compared to all other age groups. Despite this, doctors can miss or misdiagnose TBIs in older adults because their symptoms tend to overlap with other medical conditions that are common in the age group, such as dementia
- Some samples of five-year outcomes for persons with moderate and severe traumatic brain injuries are as follows: 22% died, 30% became worse, 22% stayed home and 26% improved
Even if a concussion seems like a mild one, a trusted medical professional should evaluate it right away as it is a brain injury. Generally speaking, most symptoms from concussions usually resolve within 14 to 21 days, but this varies person-to-person. Symptoms to watch out for include:
- Headache or “pressure” in the head
- Nausea or vomiting
- Balance problems or dizziness, double or blurry vision
- Being bothered by lights or noises
- Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
- Confusion, concentration, or memory problems
- Feeling “not right” or feeling “down”
To commemorate National Concussion Day this year, make sure you and your loved ones know how concussions happen and what symptoms often come along with them. If you suspect you may have a concussion, please make an appointment with your doctor or visit your local emergency department right away. If you have a legal question or concern, someone at our firm can help. Contact a representative online now to learn more.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP, Representing Injured Victims Since 1947
If you have questions about filing a claim for injuries you sustained, contact the Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP today. Call us at 800-222-USWA (8792) or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Allentown and Harrisburg.