Archive for the ‘TBI’ Category

Do I Have a TBI? These Symptoms Indicate “Possibly”

These signs indicate you may have a traumatic brain injury.

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Far too many people receive a bump on the head or experience a sports-related injury without going to a medical professional to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment. Unfortunately, every year, an estimated 1.5 million people experience a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). An injury related to the brain should not be taken lightly, which is why you need to understand if your symptoms could be indicative of a TBI.

Traumatic Brain Injuries Occur Every 16 Seconds

Did you know that a TBI occurs every 16 seconds? Additionally, 35 percent of TBI cases occur due to falls, 17 percent occur due to car accidents, and 16 percent are caused by repetitive brain trauma received during contact sports. 

The astounding amount of traumatic brain injuries are accompanied by a wide range of symptoms and result in a devastating range of impacts. For example, severe traumatic brain injuries can leave individuals with lifelong disabilities. A mild TBI often has a more minor impact and can typically result in a full recovery of the affected individual. 

However, neither a severe nor a mild TBI should be taken lightly. If traumatic brain injuries are left untreated, then they can lead to lifelong impacts that include mental, physical, and emotional disabilities. The first step towards successfully treating and recovering from a TBI is to understand its symptoms.

What Are the Symptoms of a TBI?

All traumatic brain injuries are different. However, there are similar symptoms that you should look out for if you are worried that you or a family member have suffered a significant brain injury. The most common symptoms of a mild TBI include blurred vision, dizziness, lightheadedness, and a long-lasting severe headache. 

Other symptoms of more serious traumatic brain injuries include memory loss, impaired cognitive functions, and difficulty with motor functions. In severe cases, traumatic brain injuries can result in death. It is important to note that recovery and healing will depend on the extent of the TBI, as well as on the treatment methodologies that are used. The good news is that the TryMunity online community offers the right medical resources, FAQs, and support that you need to start on your road to recovery and healing.

Finding Rehabilitation and Hope for TBI Survivors

The TryMunity community offers valuable resources, FAQs, and support to survivors, family members, caregivers, and people suffering from a wide range of traumatic brain injuries. Our community recognizes that a TBI can happen to people of any age or from any walk of life. In fact, it is this very understanding we hold onto as we spread messages of hope, raise awareness about traumatic brain injuries, and offer resources to people in need.

To share your story, better understand your TBI symptoms, and to discover the path towards recovery and healing, contact a TryMunity community member today. We promise that you will find inspiration and support from our community members and will receive great support that will help you move forward!

Coping with a Traumatic Brain Injury: Tips & Tricks for Living a Happy Life

Tips for coping with a traumatic brain injury.

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According to the Center for Disease Control, around 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries (TBI) occur every year. A traumatic brain injury commonly causes development delays and cognitive impairments. Improving the quality of life for those living with a TBI is possible through coping strategies and a few tips and tricks.

Starting with Stats

Statistics have a way of scaring people. The truth of the matter is, stats show that a traumatic brain injury can occur to anyone at any time and change everything.

  • By estimation, a TBI occurs every 16 seconds.
  • Currently, there are five million people living with disabilities as a result of a traumatic brain injury.
  • The leading cause of TBI sistumbles and falls.
  • However, motor vehicle accidents are the leading reason for TBI-related deaths.
  • Contact sports or repetitive injury to the head accounts for 16% of cases that result in a traumatic brain injury.

Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury

No two people with a traumatic brain injury experience the same symptoms, because no two cases of TBI are alike. It is important to not ignore even the slightest red flag.

Mild signs of TBI:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred or fuzzy vision
  • Mild headache or reoccurring throb

Severe signs of TBI:

  • Diminished motor function
  • Memory problems
  • Impaired speech
  • A decrease in ​cognitive function

Moving Forward in Life with TBI

Coping with a traumatic brain injury is more than accepting a diagnosis and facing what is next. Strategies, tips, and tricks are ways to provide a bright quality of life.

The emergency room, surgeries, and rehabilitation are necessary steps in cases of severe TBI. The assessments of functions, speech, and physical abilities can be exhausting and sometimes disheartening, but normalizing emotional and mental health is the most important aspect of living a happy life moving forward.

Successful coping skills are not only medical or mental. It is how you approach life with TBI. The following list of tips exist for those with a traumatic brain injury to enjoy their overall quality of life.

  • Social support is a must. Friends, family, and support groups are a great source of inspiration and a sense of acceptance.
  • Everyone has a time a day they prefer. Tasks that require physical or mental exertion are best saved for the most productive time of day for you.
  • Any exercise is good exercise. Choose a type and time of day to work out the tension. It improves attention and sleep.
  • Take breaks. Warning signs of overexertion include loss of attention, lowered productivity, and an overwhelmed feeling.
  • Make notes and reminders of important tasks, dates, or events.
  • Repeat what you say and hear from another person to guarantee the understanding of both parties.
  • Do not put pressure on yourself. Take additional time for any task at hand.
  • Never hesitate to seek out quiet and safe places as needed.

Living with a brain injury is more than breathing and doctors. Take your time, and, most of all, enjoy life.

If you’re looking for a community of TBI survivors, caretakers, family, and friends, join TryMunity. Visit community.trymunity.com to learn more.

Can a Traumatic Brain Injury Heal Itself?

How to heal a traumatic brain injury.

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Every year, more than 1.5 million people suffer from a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). These types of injuries have a wide range of symptoms, including concussions, fatigue, blurred vision, dizziness, and loss of motor skills. Recognizing the symptoms, seeking treatment, and getting the necessary support can be crucial during the rehabilitation process.

TBIs Caused by Accidents

A TBI occurs every 16 seconds. There are currently more than five million people who are living with new disabilities as a direct result of their TBI. With these statistics in mind, it is important to note that while TBIs can occur at any time, they can also have a wide variety of impacts. A mild TBI heals on its own with the right rehabilitation process, rest, and support. However, a severe TBI might take longer to heal, or leave an individual with a lifelong disability.

Research shows that falls cause more than 35 percent of TBI cases each year. 17 percent of TBI cases are caused by motor vehicle accidents. Repetitive trauma, such as injuries caused during contact sports, make up an additional 16 percent of TBI cases. Unfortunately, many TBIs are not reported, which is why individuals should take the time needed better understand both the causes and symptoms of these commonly occurring brain injuries.

What Are the Symptoms of a TBI?

It is important to note that TBI symptoms will vary on a case-by-case basis. However, there are a few key commonalities and symptoms that victims might experience when they suffer from a mild traumatic brain injury. These symptoms include blurred vision, long-lasting headaches, bouts of lightheadedness, dizziness, and blurred vision. In severe cases, victims may suffer from long-term symptoms such as memory loss, impaired speech, or difficulty with certain cognitive functions. Other possible symptoms include loss of motor functions and, in severe cases, death. In short, the symptoms and ability to fully recover from a TBI will depend on the individual and the extent of the injury.

Finding Rehabilitation and Hope for TBI Survivors

The TryMunity community is dedicated to helping TBI survivors, their families, and their friends. We recognize that traumatic brain injuries can happen to anyone from any walk of life, which is why our online community is dedicated to spreading hope, offering resources, and raising awareness of the difficulties associated with a TBI. Whether you are a survivor, caregiver, or family member of a TBI patient, we invite you to reach out to our TryMunity members. As you begin to process your diagnosis or help a TBI survivor cope, we encourage you to read our FAQs on brain injuries, share your story, and receive the support that you need to heal. To learn more and discover the path toward healing, join our supportive community at community.trymunity.com.

The Common Causes of Concussions in Children and Prevention Strategies

Common causes of concussions in children and how to prevent them.

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Like adults, concussions in children are a type of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). This type of injury can produce a multitude of mental and physical effects that range from mild to severe. More often than not, children receive a concussion when they suffer a blow to the head as a direct result of a fall, sports injury, whiplash, car crash, or other traumatic event.

Suffering a Concussion as a Child

Children can receive concussions from hard hits to their body, face, neck, or head. The result of the hard hit can be a rapid acceleration of the brain, which causes the concussion. The most common causes of concussions in children are sports injuries, car accidents, falls, and being hit by another object or person. The good news is that many concussions in children can be prevented by taking the right steps. Through research and support groups, parents can avoid common concussion myths that could unintentionally harm their children. For example, it is a common misconception that a helmet will prevent a concussion. Instead, the helmet is designed to prevent catastrophic brain injuries. With this in mind, if a child is wearing a helmet, but still suffers a hard hit to the neck, body, or head, then he or she could still suffer a concussion.

Children can help prevent concussions by wearing their seatbelt any time they are in a car or bus. They can also use mouth guards to prevent facial trauma and possibly reduce the risk of a concussion during sporting events. Child athletes can complete neck-strengthening exercises to help reduce the impact of sports concussions. Finally, parents should carefully monitor their children after a suspected concussion. Through time and rest, children can heal. However, if a child returns to high impact situations or rigorous exercises too early, then they can worsen their symptoms and increase their risk for a second concussion.

What Are the Common Symptoms of a Concussion?

Concussion symptoms will vary based on the child, as well as the level of the TBI. The most common concussion symptoms include:

  • A slow response time after injury to the head, neck, or body
  • Consistent and pounding headache
  • Changes in normal sleeping or eating habits
  • Dizziness and increased fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating, paying attention, or remembering
  • In extreme cases, excessive vomiting, slurred speech, convulsions, loss of consciousness for more than one minute, and problems with balance or coordination

If your child is experiencing any of the above symptoms, contact their doctor or visit your local emergency room immediately.

Get the Support Your Child Needs After a Traumatic Brain Injury

Regardless of their severity, concussions in children can be a traumatic experience. The good news is that TryMunity is here to help with a supportive social community. Our members are ready to answer your questions, offer guidance on the best prevention methods, and support you and your child after a concussion. To learn more about how TryMunity can support your child’s journey to recovery, visit our frequently asked questions or join at community.trymunity.com.

What Are the Common Myths About Concussions?

What Are the Common Myths About Concussions

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A concussion is considered a type of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). It is typically caused by a blow, bump, or jolt to a person’s head. In fact, many concussions occur when a person falls or receives a hard blow that causes their head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. Concussions are a fairly common TBI, but, unfortunately, there are many myths surrounding this type of injury.

Understanding 5 Common Myths About Concussions

Debunking the following five myths can help you to better understand concussions.

Myth #1: Concussions are only sustained when you experience a loss of consciousness.

The truth is that loss of consciousness only occurs in a small amount of concussions. The most common signs of a concussion are dizziness, tinnitus, noise or light sensitivity, fatigue, balance issues, headache, and nausea.

Myth #2: A concussion can only occur if you receive a direct blow to the head.

The reality is that a concussion can occur without a direct blow to the head. In layman’s terms, a concussion is caused by force that has been transmitted to the head. For example, extreme cases of whiplash can trigger a concussion. In fact, any sudden movement that causes the brain to move, bounce, or twist within your skull can lead to a traumatic brain injury.

Myth #3: If you receive a concussion, then you need to immediately have a CT scan or MRI.

In many cases, a conventional CT or MRI scan will appear “normal” immediately after a concussion. In severe traumatic brain injuries, the CT scan will be used to identify intracranial clots; however, in the majority of cases, physicians will forgo CT scans and instead conduct a neurological exam. The exam will evaluate your reflexes, memory, balance, concentration, and vision. Depending on the results of your neurological exam, a CT scan might be completed.

Myth #4: Someone with a concussion needs to be woken up every 20 minutes.

The truth is that rest is very important during brain injuries; it helps the brain heal and recover. After a concussion, a person should be woken up every two to three hours to assess how they are looking, acting, and feeling. Once a doctor has cleared a person from the latter evaluation stage, you only need to wake them up periodically.

Myth #5: Injury to the brain can only occur at the exact moment of impact. 

A concussion might be considered a “minor” TBI, however, chemical changes can occur hours, days, weeks, and even months after the initial impact. Additionally, the brain is more susceptible to additional injuries after it has suffered from a concussion. In this vein, it is important to seek proper treatment immediately after a concussion so that you can better monitor changes to your symptoms in the days, weeks, and months following your TBI.

Get the Support You Need After a TBI

At TryMunity, we offer a supportive social community that is built to assist anyone who has suffered from a TBI. From concussions to severe brain injuries, our members are ready to share their messages of support, inspiration, and healing with you. To learn how TryMunity can help you in your journey to recovery, we invite you to ask questions, get involved, find solutions, and join our online community.

What Are the Best Ways I Can Support a Traumatic Brain Injury Survivor?

Learn the best way you can support a traumatic brain injury survivor.

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Every year, an estimated 1.7 million people suffer from a type of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Concussions, dizziness, lightheadedness, and blurred vision are all symptoms of a TBI. Whether your friend or family member has just started the rehabilitation process or has been living with their injury for an extended period of time, there are several steps that you can take to support their journey to recovery.

3 Ways You Can Support a Traumatic Brain Injury Survivor

Did you know that falls account for an estimated 35 percent of all TBIs? Motor vehicle accidents account for an estimated 17 percent, while repetitive trauma causes 16 percent of TBI cases. No matter how the injury occurred, many traumatic brain injury survivors struggle to adjust to their “new normal.” The good news is that, with compassion, you can help a survivor adjust to their new life through the following three tips.

Visit survivors on a regular basis

If your friend or family member is a TBI survivor who is homebound, then you should take the time to visit them on a regular basis. Even if a TBI survivor is non-verbal, studies show that they can still feel your presence. Remember that the visit doesn’t have to be serious. Instead, you can have fun, make jokes, and be true to your emotions. A survivor doesn’t want to feel as if you are on a “pity visit.” Instead, they want to feel your loving compassion as you provide a meaningful connection. With this in mind, individuals who suffered minor TBI injuries, such as concussions, can be supported by taking them for doctor-approved activities. These activities might be something lighthearted like mini-golf or more low-key, such as a fishing.

Recognize that it is ok to be uncomfortable

Seeing a family member or friend who used to be the life of the party live with a major TBI can be a challenge. Instead of trying to pretend that everything is ok, you can and should recognize that you need to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Once you have recognized that it is ok to be uncomfortable, you will be ready to be a true friend and loved one. Don’t forget that if your loved one lives far away, you can always support their journey from afar by sending snail mail. From funny photos to a story or a lottery ticket, there are countless ways that you can use mail to stay connected and brighten their day.

Help them join a community of supporters

One of the best ways that you can support a TBI survivor is by helping them find a community of supporters, advocates, and survivors. TryMunity is an online community that provides the education, resources, and support that anyone who has been affected by a brain injury needs throughout their rehabilitation journey.

There is Hope for Caregivers and TBI Survivors

TryMunity was built with the goal of spreading hope to TBI survivors, their friends, and their families. Through a supportive online community, TryMunity helps TBI survivors and their caregivers receive the education, medical resources, information, and sense of belonging that they need to complete their rehabilitation journey. To discover a supporting environment that can help you to better understand your TBI symptoms, we invite you to join the TryMunity community today.

Is an Acquired Brain Injury the Same Thing as a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Learn the differences between acquired brain injury and traumatic brain injury.

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Brain injuries can occur in a wide number of circumstances. However, like any bodily injury, no two brain injuries are exactly the same. In fact, while many people automatically think that an injury to their brain is classified as a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), the reality is that they could have suffered from an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). TBI and ABI are two different injury classifications that will still require the support of caregivers throughout the rehabilitation journey.

What is an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)?

An ABI refers to brain injuries that occur after birth. Many ABIs are caused by strokes, a lack of oxygen to the brain for a designated period of time, infections, or prolonged drug and alcohol abuse. It is important to note that degenerative brain ailments, such as Parkinson’s disease, or injuries caused during birth are not considered ABI. In this vein, ABI survivors will have a wide range of symptoms and care requirements that can range from severe to mild.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?

A TBI is typically caused by a blow to the head; however, it can also be caused when the brain rapidly moves inside of the skull from incidents such as whiplash. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), falls constitute 35 percent of TBI cases, motor vehicles account for 17 percent of cases, and repetitive trauma makes up 16 percent of cases. TBI survivors might experience a range of symptoms from mild to severe. These symptoms could include lightheadedness, blurred vision, headaches, impaired speech, memory loss, difficulty with cognitive functions, and, in some severe cases, death. It is important to note that no two people will experience exactly the same symptoms.

ABI vs. TBI: Understanding the Key Difference

As seen through the preceding sections, TBI is a subset of ABI. In other words, ABI accounts for all brain injuries, including traumatic and non-traumatic brain injuries. TBI only refers to those brain injuries that were the result of a traumatic experience. Both ABI and TBI diagnoses can require the support of caregivers as survivors seek to adjust to their new way of life and continue their rehabilitation journeys. Regardless of the diagnosis, caregivers should provide survivors with the hope, support, and resources that they need to recover and enjoy life to its fullest.

Finding Hope and Rehabilitation for Survivors

At TryMunity, we are dedicated to helping people from all walks of life who have been affected by an ABI or TBI. Our online community focuses on raising awareness, spreading hope, and providing the resources that survivors and caregivers need during this difficult time in life. Whether you have suffered from an ABI or TBI, or you are the caregiver to a survivor, we invite you to reach out to our community members, read our FAQs on brain injuries, and share your story. To discover the support and hope that you need after a brain injury, please contact a member of our community today.

What Are the Signs of Traumatic Brain Injuries in Infants?

The signs of traumatic brain injuries in infants vary depending on severity, location, and age.

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Like in adults, the signs and symptoms of a traumatic brain injury in infants can vary greatly. It all depends on the location and extent of the age, the age of the child, premorbid abilities, and which functions are affected (i.e. cognitive, sensory, etc.). The overall effects of a traumatic brain injury in infants can be temporary or permanent; it is impossible to say without a firm, in-depth diagnosis. And even then, no two children are the same. What is common for one infant may be completely the opposite in another.

Many young children who suffer a traumatic brain injury typically develop normally after their initial recovery process. The overall developmental progression goes on relatively unhindered. Some continue to display long-term difficulties, however, including learning disabilities and social interaction impairments. These cognitive functions are impacted for life.

Furthermore, with children, the overall impact of traumatic brain injuries is vastly different from an adult due to the brain still developing. Unfortunately, this means some children may not present any effects of their injury until later in life, once their sensory system and frontal lobe have developed past adolescence.

Signs of a TBI in Infants

The signs and symptoms of a traumatic brain injury in infants are similar to that of an adult, though they do vary in some regards.

The physical symptoms include:

  • Changes to bowel or bladder function
  • Changes on consciousness, ranging from a brief loss to a coma state
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Impaired movement, balance, and coordination
  • Motor speed deficits
  • Reduced muscle strength

Sensory and perceptual symptoms include:

  • Auditory dysfunction resulting in difficulty hearing speech, vertigo, hypersensitivity to sound, loss of postural stability or control.
  • Visual changes, including the perception of color, size, depth, and distance; changes to visual acuity; double vision; issues with visual convergence or accommodation; sensitivity to light.

Feed and swallowing difficulties may include:

  • Oral or pharyngeal dysphagia.
  • Risk of aspiration due to cognitive impairment while eating.

Lastly, behavioral and emotional symptoms in infants include:

  • Agitation, aggression, and combativeness.
  • Changes in sleep patterns.
  • Excessive drowsiness.
  • A disorientated or foggy feeling.

As you can see, the range of symptoms in infants is extremely varied and far-reaching.

If your infant has endured a traumatic brain injury, find support and information on the topic with TryMunity at community.trymunity.com. Take part in our community today!

How Is a Traumatic Brain Injury Diagnosed?

In most cases, a traumatic brain injury is an emergency. The consequences of such an accident can worsen without proper treatment. But first, the doctors must assess the situation and diagnose the brain injury. Currently, the “Glasgow Coma Scale” is used to assess the severity of a brain injury. The test involves your ability to follow directions, move the eyes and limbs, and coherently form speech. These abilities are then scored from three to 15. A high score means a less severe brain injury, and a low score means a more severe injury. But, that’s not the end of the diagnosis. The doctors require imagery of the brain and the damage. Most often, a CAT scan, MRU, SPECT, or PET are scheduled for a better evaluation.

Methods to Diagnose a TBI

Following a traumatic brain injury, seek immediate medical attention for a TBI diagnosis.

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With a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury, such as a blow directly to the head, diagnosis is relatively straightforward. It is when you mix in other life-threatening injuries, such as those caused by a car accident, that a head injury can be overlooked. The focus of all medical professionals is on treating the life-threatening injuries before them, such as extreme blood loss.

In such a case, the patient may wind up on a ventilator and sedated for the time being. This temporary vegetative state makes evaluating a brain injury difficult, if not impossible, until the patient can re-emerge from the state. Even then, a mild traumatic brain injury cannot be fully diagnosed until the individual is capable of speaking, moving their eyes or limbs, and performing simple tasks.

With all of that being said, when diagnosing a severe traumatic brain injury – an incident focused directly on the head or brain – certain symptoms will arise. For instance, an injury to the frontal lobe leads to a loss of high cognitive function, meaning inappropriate behavior or outbursts. An injury to the brainstem, on the other hand, may inhibit breathing, heart rate, and arousal. These symptoms are immediately noticeable to the medical team, as is a loss of consciousness, memory loss, or difficulty speaking.

Information About the TBI

Many medical professionals will have a series of questions to ask the patient or those who witnessed the accident/incident in question. These questions vary, but most include:

  • How did the injury occur?
  • Did the patient lose consciousness?
  • How long were they unconscious for?
  • Were there any noticeable changes in alertness, speaking, coordination, etc.?
  • Was the patient’s body whipped or jarred?

These questions, and more like them, provide a better idea of the accident and the injury.

If you have any further questions regarding the diagnosis of a traumatic brain injury or living with a TBI, please visit the TryMunity community at community.trymunity.com for support and informative dialogue on the topic!

Can You Die From a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A TBI-related injury can lead to death and disability.

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A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a significant cause of death and lifelong disability here in the United States. According to Brainline, traumatic brain injuries account for around 30% of all injury-related deaths annually in the country. Each day, around 153 people pass away because of their TBI injuries and symptoms. But, not everyone dies from their injuries. Some endure a lifetime of disabilities, pain, and discomfort. The long-term effects of traumatic brain injuries may include memory, movement, and sensation impairment, though every case is unique.

The Severity of a TBI

A traumatic brain injury is a significant bump, blow, or jolt directly to the head that may disrupt everyday functions. Not every injury to the head results in a TBI, though. Some bumps are minor and result in nothing more than a headache. But, with a TBI, the severity ranges from “mild” to “severe.” Most are mild, such as a concussion. Then, you have the more severe cases, in which memory loss or extended unconsciousness are more common.

According to research, around 2.8 million TBI-related emergency room visits occur each year. These visits result in long-term hospitalization and death. Thankfully, despite the increased number of TBI-related visits to hospitals across the country, the death rates have decreased. The decrease is just 5%, but that is significant enough to warrant notice. With all of the recent advancements in medical equipment and treatment procedures, doctors are now able to better help TBI injuries and patients through better care.

Leading Causes of TBIs

We can sit here and discuss statistics all day, but a better use of recent research is learning what the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries are and how to prevent one.

Here in the United States, the leading causes of TBIs include:

  • Falling – Slip and fall accidents accounted for nearly 50% of all TBI-related injuries and hospital visits. With a falling incident, both the youngest (0-14 years) and oldest (>65) age groups are affected more than anyone else.
  • Blunt Force – A blunt force hit to the head when being struck by an object is the second leading cause of TBI injuries. These incidents account for around 15% of all TBI-related hospital visits and deaths in the country
  • Accidents – A car accident is the third leading cause of TBI-related injuries in the United States. Around 14% of all TBI injuries are due to car accidents.

Regarding deaths associated with TBI injuries, intentional self-harm ranked as the second most common, with 33% of the total deaths, according to reports.

If you or someone you love suffers from a traumatic brain injury that makes everyday activities troubling, find solace in the TryMunity support community. We have a wealth of knowledge on living with TBI injuries, caring for TBI patients, and emotional support for all! Visit community.trymunity.com to learn more.