Many people in California have likely heard reports about incidents in which a person experiences trauma to their head. Some of these events can result in what is called a traumatic brain injury. As explained by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, a TBI is a special type of injury that is marked by a disruption in the brain's ability to function normally.
A traumatic brain injury might be temporary or short-term or it may end up being severe. In the case of a severe TBI, a person often ends up with lifelong challenges or limitations due to the injury. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most mild TBIs are concussions that are characterized by a temporary loss of consciousness or altered mental state but that do not result in the presence of any negative, long-term symptoms.
It is estimated that between 30% and 50% of all traumatic brain injuries in the U.S. result from motor vehicle accidents. For people between the ages of 15 and 44, vehicle crashes are the number one cause of TBIs. Every year, as many as 50,000 lives are lost to these injuries with an estimated 25,000 deaths happening in as little as two hours after the initial event that precipitated the TBI. This highlights the importance of prompt response to events in which a TBI may result.
Some of the long-term effects of a severe traumatic brain injury include permanent memory loss, changes in a person's emotions or ability to manage emotions, compromised cognitive abilities, physical disabilities and sensory issues.