Traumatic brain injury is regarded as one of the leading causes of death in Evansville, Indiana and in other areas of the United States. Traumatic brain injury contributes to 30% of all deaths. Every day more than a 100 people will die from injuries related to TBI. Those who survive will face lasting effects for the rest of their lives.

Blows to the head most often cause brain injury followed by shaking and injuries to the brain from face and jaw injuries. Traumatic injury to the brain depends on several factors including the nature of the event and the force of impact.

  • Damage to brain cells (in one area) from a single blow
  • Damage to the brain cells in multiple areas from the brain moving during the impact
  • A severe spinning jolt
  • A blast from an explosive device
  • An object penetrating the skull
  • Bleeding in or around the brain and swelling which disrupts the oxygen supply

The leading cause of Traumatic brain injury (35%) are caused by falls. The second leading cause is motor vehicle accidents, followed by other types of accidents and assault. In children, traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of death and disability for children ages 0-4 and 15-19. More than 62,000 children will require hospitalization for traumatic brain injury from injuries resulting from motor vehicle crashes, falls, sports injuries and physical abuse this year.

Falls

One in every five falls will result in a head injury or broken bone. Conditions that can lead to slip and falls include slippery surfaces (such as ice or spills), tripping over out of place items, being struck (knocked down). Trauma is required to cause a head injury but trauma does not necessarily need to be violent. Falling down a set of steps or falling on a hard object is enough to cause damage.

Motor Vehicle accidents

Motor vehicle accidents are extremely dangerous, even at minimum speeds. When a car is moving at 40mph, everything in that car is also moving at that rate of speed. When the car crashes and comes to an abrupt halt. Your body will also have to come to a complete halt by way of the seat belt. But even after your body has stopped your internal organs are also traveling that fast when they come to a sudden stop in your body from moving 40 mph. The brain can be injured just from the whiplash of the stop. Your head may strike other things such as the dashboard, airbag, windows or other hard objects causing an internal brain injury with or without a penetrating injury.

TBI may not always be able to be preventable, but you can increase your odds of staying safe by wearing seatbelts and driving at safe speeds. Children must be secured in a proper car seat for a person if their size. To prevent falls it is important to be aware of your surroundings, remove anything that may be a trip hazard in your home and office and use caution on slippery surfaces. Helmets should also be worn for children and adults while performing certain activities where there could be danger such as sports or other dangerous recreational activities.