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March 28, 2011

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

In an effort to increase understanding about traumatic brain injury, the Brain Injury Association of America (BIA) recognizes every March as National Brain Injury Awareness Month. According to the BIA, a traumatic brain injury happens every 23 seconds in the United States - that's approximately 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries each year.

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have a devastating impact on the victim and their family. These types of injuries typically require extensive medical care, which can put a financial strain on the victim's family. In some cases, a person suffering from a brain injury may be unable to return to work and could require assisted living. Traumatic brain injuries can result from several causes including car accidents, falls, physical assault, or sports. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 135,000 traumatic brain injuries treated each year in the United States are linked to sports and recreational activities.

Brain Injury and Car Accidents

Car accidents are one of the major causes of brain injury in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car accidents are the cause of 17.3 percent of traumatic brain injuries and lead to 31.8 percent of fatalities linked to traumatic brain injury.

A traumatic brain injury results when there is an impact to the head or when there is sudden acceleration and deceleration, as can be the case in a car accident. The extreme amount of force stemming from a rear-end or head-on collision can cause someone to hit their head somewhere in the vehicle and cause a brain injury. It is important to know that a brain injury can also result when the head is subjected to extreme force without necessarily hitting an object. During an accident where the victim's head goes forward and suddenly stops, the brain moves, causing it to hit one side of the skull, and in some cases, both sides of the skull.

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