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Brain injuries can happen to anyone

Many of us have become aware of traumatic brain injuries in the context of professional sports. Hockey and American football players are at high-risk for these injuries. Yet, you don’t have to be a linebacker to sustain a brain injury. Almost 400 brain injuries happen each day. These injuries can result in hospital stays and even death.

A brain advocacy group recently descended on Albany to petition lawmakers to enhance the Concussion Management Awareness Act and create a trust fund for brain injuries to help patients of traumatic brain injuries. The group's larger goals are to increase awareness for brain injuries to better recognize and treat them and to increase community access for treatments.

Common causes

Acts of violence, falls and car accidents are the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries. These incidents often result in the head or body whipped around or direct strikes to the head. Falls are especially common as they can occur in the home and year-round outdoors. Don’t think falls are only a concern for the elderly. They are the leading cause of brain injury for all age groups excluding 10-19-year olds.

How to recognize a possible traumatic brain injury

There are many ways brain injuries manifest themselves. More severe symptoms can include seizures, vomiting and drowsiness. Other signs of traumatic brain injuries include confusion, problems balancing or a headache. If left untreated, these injuries can lead to lifelong problems or even death. You should seek medical help if you experience any of these symptoms or are involved in an incident where brain injury is possible even if you don’t notice any symptoms.

Just because you’re not a professional athlete doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about traumatic brain injuries. Hundreds sustain these injuries every day and thousands die from them each year. There’s no such thing as “shaking it off” when it comes to brain injuries. It’s better to be safe than sorry and visit the doctor if there is any concern you’ve suffered a brain injury.

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