Articles Posted in Brain Injury

Florida Brain InjuryResearchers are finding that it doesn’t take much to sustain a permanent disability due to a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Any jolt or blow to the head can lead to a brain injury and symptoms may not manifest themselves for days – or even years. This is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has labeled TBI the “Silent Epidemic.”

During Brain Injury Awareness Month, the CDC is emphasizing that whether a TBI is caused by a fall in the home or the playground, a car crash, or being struck by another person or an object, the outcome can be devastating and result in lifelong disability.

The CDC says that currently, some 3.5 million people live with a TBI in the U.S. and that some 1.7 people sustain a TBI each year. Approximately 52,000 people die annually as the result of brain injuries. According to the CDC, TBI is a contributing factor in almost one-third of all injury accident deaths in the country. Traffic accidents are the leading cause of TBI-related death.
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The Hillsborough personal injury attorneys at Farah & Farah have learned that the parents of a special education student have filed a lawsuit against the Hillsborough County School District. The suit alleges that a special education teacher and two aides did nothing to prevent their son from climbing on a ceiling and subsequently crashing to the ground on his head.

The lawsuit claims that the accident, which happened in 2009, left the boy with a “catastrophic and life-threatening head injury.”

The lawsuit alleges that the special education teacher was taking the class to lunch when the boy climbed a cabinet in the classroom and into the ceiling. The suit contends that the teacher left to take the class to lunch anyway, leaving the two aides who did not have proper training in child restraint to deal with the situation. One of the aides left to get help, while the other was on the telephone in the classroom when the ceiling gave way and the boy crashed to the ground.
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Florida TBI AccidentA sports injury research center that collects data on catastrophic football injuries has reported that the year 2011 was the worst year in a quarter of a century for long-lasting brain injuries among high school and youth football players. According to FloridaToday.com, the report claims this is a “major problem.”

The National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research, based at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, reports that although deaths from football-related brain injuries have decreased substantially over the decades, brain injuries with incomplete recovery have reached the double digits in three of the past four years.

According to the director of the research center, Frederick Mueller, better medical care on the field presents an unenviable two-edged sword. While fewer kids are dying from brain injuries, more kids are living with permanent brain damage as a result.
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brain injuryAs part of its goal to become the voice of brain injury and to make Americans aware of the millions of people across the nation who live with brain injury every day, the Brain Injury Association of American (BIAA) and its affiliates – as well as volunteers and affected families and individuals – are marking March as Brain Injury Awareness Month.

The BIAA is trying to make all Americans aware that brain injury does not discriminate and can happen to anybody at any time – making it essential that everyone have access to “comprehensive rehabilitation and ongoing disease management,” according to Dr. Brent Masel, national medical director for the BIAA.

He goes on to say that access to early comprehensive treatment “eases medical complications, permanent disability, family dysfunction, job loss, homelessness, impoverishment, medical indigence, suicide and involvement with the criminal or juvenile justice system.”
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In response to growing concerns about sports-related concussions and their long-term effects on young athletes, the Florida Legislature unanimously passed a bill to protect them. It will require coaches and others to remove players from a game or practice following a head injury and would prevent the student athlete from returning to competition until a doctor has cleared the player. The bill will now go before Governor Rick Scott to be signed into law.

The law will also require that concussion prevention measures be taken and that parents sign an informed consent form about the risk associated with concussions before a student can join a team.

The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) already has a similar policy for its student athletes in place and the new law would merely codify their protocols as well as require compliance from all other youth sports organizations in Florida. Currently, 34 other states have youth concussion policies.

The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Ronald Renuart (R-Ponte Vera Beach), said that he knows that some parents are skeptical about the bill, but emphasized that a child’s brain needs time to heal and that getting back in to a game should always be secondary to a child’s health.
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Fair Warning reports on the controversy over the ImPACT test, which stands for Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing, given to school athletes both before and after a head injury. There are about 1.7 million concussions in the U.S. every year where the brain is shaken around inside the skull, which can result in traumatic brain injuries with symptoms such as headaches, an inability to focus, mood change, and dizziness.

A player’s memory, reaction time, and ability to pay attention are all measured by the computer-based ImPACT test.

The Florida brain injury attorneys of Farah & Farah understand that almost any sport can lead to head trauma, but professional football players have brought most of the attention to the problem, especially if they are injured a second time while recovering.
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According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released Thursday, October 6, there has been a 60 percent increase among young people involved in sports in the treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and concussions. The dramatic rise in treatment from 153,375 in 2001 to 248,418 in 2009 is thought to be due, at least in part, to more awareness among parents and coaches as to the dangers of TBI. Any sport can leave a participant with a brain injury including football, basketball, and soccer, and even bicycling and playground sports, and these injuries can last a lifetime.

During the eight-year study period, about 173,285 youth up to age 19 visited emergency rooms in the U.S. It may not be surprising that:
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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report for May 6, reports that incidents of traumatic brain injury-related deaths in the U.S. decreased between the years of 1997 to 2007.

However, the report reminds us that traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) still cause about 53,014 deaths in the U.S. annually and is a leading cause of death and disability among adults. The good news is TBI death rates decreased significantly among people up to the age of 44 but unfortunately increased significantly among those ages 75 or older. TBI mostly affects males and rates were found to be highest among American Indian and Alaskan Natives and lowest among Hispanics, although all races and ages are affected.
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The Los Angeles Times reports on the findings of an autopsy performed on former NFL player Dave Duerson who committed suicide out of fear that the hard hits to his brain may have damaged it irreparably. The results released on Monday, May 2, confirm that Duerson had a neurodegenerative disease linked to repeated head trauma and concussion. Duerson committed suicide last February. He was 50-years-old and left a suicide note asking that his brain be donated to Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, which is funded in part by the National Football League (NFL).

Boston University researchers say the area of the brain most affected influences inhabitations, emotion, memory, and impulse control. Duerson is one of 14 former football players whose brain displayed signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Boxers and military veterans have also been found to have CTE symptoms such as depression and erratic behavior. Repeated concussions and blows to the head are considered to be the primary risks factor, but researchers have not ruled out a genetic predisposition. The NFL plans to study the report and may enact changes to the trauma experienced in the field. At the very least, former players say the league needs to provide adequate pensions and healthcare to former players.
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A 55-year-old Kissimmee man died Sunday afternoon when he lost control of the motorcycle he was driving. The St. Petersburg Times reports the accident happened just west of Brooksville near B.W. Stevenson Road. According to the Florida High Patrol, the man was traveling east on Cortez Boulevard. He lost control of his 2000 Harley-Davidson motorcycle on a curve, hitting a concrete median and a reflective pole before the bike left the highway. The man was thrown from the motorcycle. Hernando County Fire Rescue pronounced him dead at the scene. The FHP said the man was not wearing a helmet. It’s unknown whether alcohol was a factor in the accident.

Our condolences for the loss of this man go out to his family and friends.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics
According to Florida Highway Patrol statistics from 2008, there were 9,618 motorcycle crashes that year. 17.8% of all traffic fatalities affected motorcycle drivers and their passengers. While the number of these fatalities was down from 2007 by 3.3%, 532 motorcyclists and passengers were killed in 2008. 45% of those victims were not wearing helmets.
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