September 17 was National Concussion Awareness Day, an important day that brings to light the seriousness of concussions and the misconceptions surrounding this common, yet potentially life-threatening brain injury. Gone are the days that concussions are dismissed as “mild” or euphemistically referred to as someone “getting their bell rung.” Concussions are finally being taken very seriously, and it’s days like National Concussion Awareness Day that have contributed to this newfound understanding.
Sobering Concussion Statistics
According to the CDC, concussions are “a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.” The CDC considers these to be in the tier of mild TBIs but potentially very serious. The sudden movement can result in the brain bouncing around in the skull, chemical changes in the brain, and brain cells becoming stretched or damaged–all of which can cause symptoms that affect how a person thinks, feels, acts, learns, and sleeps.
The CDC also estimates that in 2019:
- 61,000 people per year (or 166 per day) died from TBI-related injuries
- Falls caused nearly half of all TBI-related hospitalizations
- Auto accidents and assaults were two of the other most common causes of TBIs
- In 2014, the CDC estimated that 3% of all TBIs were caused by car accidents.
- Motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of TBI-related death for children and young adults ages 5 to 24 in 2014.
Car Accidents and Concussions
While not the leading cause of concussions or TBIs in the United States, auto accidents still account for nearly 15% of these injuries. Knowing how concussions are sustained, it’s not surprising that car accidents are a major contributor to concussion and TBI counts, as victims either hit their heads or suffer a jolting body blow that causes the head and neck to violently snap back and forth (such as whiplash). Even during minor collisions, these injuries are very common and may go undiagnosed if you don’t seek medical attention in a timely manner.
A concussion or TBI sustained from a fall is even more common than sustaining the same injury in a car accident. A slip-and-fall accident often results in either direct impact to the head or the whiplash-like effect of the head and neck when trying to brace for impact.
About National Concussion Awareness Day
The third Friday of every September is designated National Concussion Awareness Day, a day to bring concussion awareness to the surface and for health care providers, teachers, coaches, and parents to discuss the signs and symptoms as well as the social and emotional issues that can result from a concussion or mild TBI. Health care professionals, nonprofit organizations, and support groups from across the country will participate in the event, which gains even more importance each year as these injuries become increasingly prevalent.
National Concussion Awareness Day
The first step toward treating a TBI or concussion is understanding how these injuries occur and being correctly diagnosed by a medical professional. If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident, a slip-and-fall incident, or other situations where a possible head injury has occurred, seek medical attention as soon as possible–whether that’s from a paramedic on the scene, a trip to the ER, or a visit with your physician. If the injury resulted from someone else’s negligence, call the experts at The Lapidus Law Firm at (202) 785-5111 or (301) 852-7500 for a free, no-obligation consultation once you receive your diagnosis.
And don’t forget… we are committed to making justice work for you.