According to the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative services, 20,000 Virginia (VA) residents suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBI) each year.
TBI can be caused by exposure to explosions, hitting your head or even being jerked around forcefully (like during car accidents). Unfortunately, most people don’t seek medical care after receiving a TBI – even those who are severely incapacitated as a result.
New studies being conducted by the military are promising earlier detection of mild-to-moderate TBI, and because so many troops (many of whom have connection to the Tidewater region of VA) are suffering irreparable, and in some cases preventable, side effects from their serious head injury.
Instead of waiting for troops to show symptoms of TBI, the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCOE) have enacted a directive, effective June 1, 2010, instructing service members to seek medical care after any incident which involves a possible head injury.
If you or someone you know have been subjected to any type of head trauma, don’t wait another minute before contacting a physician. Seeking medical care immediately can drastically improve the prognosis; in the meantime, here are the Mayo Clinic’s first aid guidelines for head injuries:
- · Keep the injured person still; slightly elevate their head and shoulders, and do not move their neck. You should only move a head injury victim if they are in immediate danger of further injury.
- · Stop any bleeding by applying pressure to wounds; however, do not apply any pressure if you suspect a skull fracture – doing so could do more harm than good.
There can be permanent repercussions to TBI – victims can be disqualified from their former jobs due to disabilities, have difficulty remembering and performing daily routines; TBI, in the most severe cases, can even cause death. There are several resources, including the Brain Injury Association of America, for victims of TBI – and most importantly, there is hope for victims of TBI.
About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices ) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono service to consumers.