Three Common Brain Injuries
Three Common Brain Injuries and How to Learn More
Domestic Violence: Women who are abused often suffer an injury to their head, neck, and face. The high potential for women who are abused to have mild to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a growing concern since the effects can cause irreversible psychological and physical harm. Women who are abused are more likely to have repeated injuries to the head. As injuries accumulate, the likelihood of recovery dramatically decreases. In addition, sustaining another head trauma prior to the complete healing of the initial injury could cause further and more serious injuries; and in some circumstances, may be fatal. Severe, obvious trauma does not have to occur for a brain injury to exist. A woman can sustain a blow to the head without any loss of consciousness or apparent reason to seek medical assistance, yet display symptoms of TBI. Only a physician can diagnose a brain injury. If you are struggling with domestic violence – get to a hospital immediately. For more information or to find resources in your area, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or on the web at www.ndvh.org.
Shaken Baby Syndrome: Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) is a severe form of physical child abuse. Shaken baby syndrome is a type of inflicted traumatic brain injury that happens when a baby is violently shaken. Babies have weak neck muscles and a large, heavy head. Shaking makes the fragile brain bounce back and forth inside the skull and causes bruising, swelling and bleeding; which can lead to permanent severe brain damage or death. Symptoms of shaken baby syndrome include extreme irritability, lethargy, poor feeding, breathing problems, convulsions, vomiting, and pale or bluish skin. Shaken baby injuries usually occur in children younger than 2 years old, but may be seen in children up to the age of 5. SBS can result in death, mental retardation or developmental delays, paralysis, severe motor dysfunction, blindness and seizures. An estimated 1,000 to 3,000 cases of SBS occur each year. One shaken baby in four dies as a result of their injuries. SBS accounts for an estimated 10%-12% of all deaths due to neglect. Over 60% of SBS victims are male. The average age of SBS victims is between 3 and 8 months of age. 80% of perpetrators are males in their early twenties. Predominantly, the abuser is the baby’s father or the mother’s boyfriend. Female perpetrators tend to be the child’s caregiver, not the mother. Caregivers include babysitters and daycare workers. Do you think your child has been shaken? If so, seek medical care immediately. Prompt medical attention can save your child’s life. Also contact The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome at 1-888-272-0071 or on the web at www.dontshake.org.
Brain Injury During Combat: America’s armed forces are sustaining attacks by rocket-propelled grenades, improvised explosive devices, and land mines almost daily in Iraq and Afghanistan. These injured soldiers require specialized care from providers experienced in treating traumatic brain injury. Blast injuries have become common in civilian disasters and military conflicts. It has been suggested that over 50% of injuries sustained in combat are the result of explosive munitions including bombs, grenades, land mines, missiles, and mortar/artillery shells. Blast injuries are injuries that result from the complex pressure wave generated by an explosion. The explosion causes an instantaneous rise in pressure over atmospheric pressure that creates a blast over-pressurization wave. Primary blast injury occurs from an interaction of the over-pressurization wave and the body with difference occurring from one organ system to another. Air-filled organs such as the ear, lung, and gastrointestinal tract and organs surround by fluid-filled cavities such as the brain and spinal are especially susceptible to primary blast injury. The over-pressurization wave dissipates quickly, causing the greatest risk of injury to those closest to the explosion. In a blast, brain injuries can also occur by other means such as impact from blast-energized debris, the individual being physically thrown, burns and/or inhalation of gases and vapors. Learn more about how our veterans are being cared for by visiting the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center website at www.DVBIC.org.