Sports and recreation related concussions continue to draw the attention of medical professionals and legislators. March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, and experts are taking the opportunity to inform the public about the dangers of concussions, particularly in children. Traumatic brain injuries are occurring at a faster rate than ever before, roughly 60 percent more than a decade ago. The Centers for Disease Control estimate that in any given year in the United States, nearly 4 million concussions will occur during sports and recreational activities. Add to that the concussions and brain injuries resulting from car accidents, workplace accidents and other causes and it is clear that head injuries are a massive concern for people in every walk of life.
After a head injury, victims face a variety of problems. In serious cases, head injuries can cause comas, permanent loss of function and death. Even milder cases leave victims with headaches, fatigue, tinnitus, memory loss, nausea, confusion and other short and long term health effects. Children face a more difficult road. Recovery time is slower when the brain is still developing. Children are generally less able to recognize changes and symptoms that might lead doctors to correctly diagnose a brain injury. Early recognition of a concussion is an important element in maximizing the chances of a full recovery.
Whether the discussion surrounds NFL players, youth sports, or head injuries caused by everyday accidents, the topic of brain injury is vital to our nation’s health. Further attention could lead to medical breakthroughs and superior treatments for brain injury victims. Hopefully the headlines will have a real impact on the people who suffer from brain injuries.