Fast Facts - Sierra Neurosurgery Group

Fast Facts - Sierra Neurosurgery Group
Traumatic Brain Injury
Fast Facts
Test Your
Q: What is the best
way to protect yourself
from a sports-related
brain injury?
A: Correct use of an
approved helmet is the
best way to protect your
head and brain from
sports-related injuries.
It is also important to
play by the rules and
avoid unnecessary force.
A traumatic brain injury, or TBI,
is defined as an alteration in brain
function, or other evidence of brain
pathology, caused by an external
force.1 An injury to the brain can be
mild or severe, and can lead to lifelong effects in cognition (thinking)
and body functions, such as movement. Developing safe practices for
driving, avoiding violence, protecting
from falls and playing sports can help
reduce the risk for brain injury.
the symptoms of a mild
traumatic brain injury
A: Loss of balance,
vision, memory or
hearing, dizziness,
headache or seizures are
all symptoms. Not all
symptoms need to be
present to suspect a
concussion or traumatic
brain injury. Seek
medical attention for
any suspected
concussion or brain
Injury to the brain can be
mild, or can lead to lifelong disability or death.
Prevention measures help
protect your brain by
lowering your risk for
The risk of motor vehicle crashes is
higher among 16-19 year olds than
any other age group. In 2011, 2,650
teens 16-19 were killed and more than
292,000 were treated in emergency
rooms for injuries suffered in motorvehicle crashes.5
Sports and recreational activities
contribute to about 21% of all
traumatic brain injuries to teens.6
Although sports-related injuries don’t
often cause death, TBI’s are the
leading cause of death in sports.6
Violence is the third leading cause of
death among people age 15-24.7
Q: What are some of
Fig. 1Centers for Disease Control and Injury Prevention
In 2010, 2.5 million emergency
room visits, hospitalizations or
deaths were associated with TBI.2
TBI accounts for 30% of all
injury related deaths in the U.S.2
Most TBIs that occur each year
are concussions or other forms of
a mild TBI.2
Approximately half of patients
with a severe head injury will
need surgery to remove or repair
hematomas or contusions3
The CDC estimates that there are
5.3 million Americans who have
long term or life-long disabilities
resulting from a TBI.4
The brain is made of nerve tissue,
which does not heal in the same way
bone or skin is able to.
Children 0-4 years, older adolescents
15-19 and adults 65 and older are the
most likely to sustain a TBI.2
Almost half a million emergency
department visits each year for a TBI
occur among children 0-14.2
Adults 75 and older have the highest
rates of TBI hospitalizations and
The estimated direct and indirect
medical costs in the US during the
year 2000, including injury-related
work loss, disability and lost income
from premature death as a result of a
TBI was $60 billion.4
ThinkFirst about...
Traumatic Brain Injury
Fast Facts!
. . . protecting yourself and others from a traumatic brain injury! TBIs are one of the leading causes of
death in the United States.4 For those who survive, brain injuries can have serious mental and physical
health effects. Preventing a TBI can be as simple as wearing a helmet, properly using a seatbelt, driving
safely and playing sports responsibly. Do your part to think first about traumatic brain injuries.
Classification of a
As determined by the
Glasgow Coma Scale,
the severity can range
from a rating of mild
(13-15), moderate (912) and severe (3-8).
Duration of loss of
consciousness and
other presenting signs
are factors.
Type of Injury
• Closed injury: the
skull is not fractured but
the brain inside can
swell and become
injured due to pressure.
• Open injury: the skull
is fractured.
• Penetrating injury: a
bullet or object cuts into
the skull causing
damage to the brain.
Cognition: affecting thinking, memory, reasoning, awareness, speech
Sensory processing: affecting sight, hearing, touch, taste & smell
Behavioral or mental health: causing personality changes, depression,
anxiety, aggression
Serious injuries can lead to a lack of consciousness, coma and death
Wear an ASTM certified helmet while using a bicycle, skate board, inline
skates or scooter.
Wear the appropriate helmets with other sports, such as horse back riding,
ice skating, skiing or snow boarding.
Wear a certified motorcycle helmet when riding a motorcycle.
Don’t drive under the influence of alcohol or impairing drugs.
Don’t use a cell phone to talk or text while driving.
Always wear a seatbelt while driving or riding in a vehicle.
Install handrails on stairways and grab bars in bathtubs and showers.
Keep floors and stairs clear of clutter and loose throw rugs.
Supervise infants and young children at all times to prevent falls.
Secure children correctly in appropriate child safety seats and booster seats.
Never shake a baby or young child.
Avoid unnecessary roughness in sports and activities.
Solve disputes in a non-violent way.
1. Protect yourself and others by making safe choices.
2. Teach children about the brain and help them develop safe habits.
3. Encourage a culture of safety with school and community programs.
The ThinkFirst Foundation is
a 501c3 nonprofit organization
dedicated to preventing brain,
spinal cord and other traumatic
injuries through education,
research and advocacy. For
injury prevention handouts,
products and chapter directory
for school presentations go to:
1. Brain Injury Association of America. Cited 4 March 2015.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Injury Prevention & Control: Traumatic Brain Injury in the
United States: Facts Sheet. 12 Jan, 2015. Cited 6 March, 2015.
3. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. NINDS Traumatic Brain Injury Information Page. 3
Feb, 2015. Cited 6 Mar, 2015.
4. Brain Injury Statistics. Cited 6, March, 2015.
5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System
(WISQARS) [Online]. 2012. Cited 29 Sept 2014.
6. American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Sports Related Head Injuries. Cited 6 July, 2015 http://
7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Injury Prevention & Control: Web-based Injury Statistics Query
and Reporting System (WISQARS) [Online]. Cited 7 Dec 2014.
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