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What are the major causes of brain injuries?

Brain injuries aren't as simple as other kinds; they take time to heal, can affect your entire body and may never really resolve. Clinically, the features of a severe brain injury are characterized by a low Glasgow Coma Scale when you're initially treated. After 24 hours passes, you'll usually be seen by a medical provider again to be assessed for a second time.

In North America, there are around 200 brain injuries per 100,000 people. In 11 percent of the injury cases, the patient dies from the trauma that has been suffered. On top of that, car accidents account for around 60 percent of those injuries, while work and sports accidents make up 15 percent respectively. Many of these injuries, looking at the causes, could be prevented from happening in the first place.

There are ways to prevent brain injuries in collisions. Wearing a seat belt, for instance, can prevent someone from hitting his or her head. Airbags soften the blow of a quick stop and impact. With the added benefit of MedFlight helicopters, getting victims to the hospital faster has made for fewer deaths due to these extensive injuries.

After an injury occurs, medical stabilization is required to help get the patient into a stable position. Sometimes, a severe brain injury results in the individual needing life support to breathe or function normally. Neurosurgery could be necessary to prevent bleeding from putting too much pressure on the brain and to stem it. Speech therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy all come much later in the rehabilitation process, although they may be needed as well.

Source: Neurologic Rehabilitation Institute of Ontario, "Brain Injury Facts," accessed Oct. 23, 2015

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