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Car Crashes and Traumatic Brain Injury

David Mittleman

Americans suffer nearly 6 times as many brain injuries each year than all of the people who will be diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, suffer a spinal cord injury, contract HIV/AIDS, and be diagnosed with breast cancer combined. Brain injuries are usually caused by slip and falls, automobile accidents, sporting injuries, defective prescription medications, and exposure to toxic or hazardous substances. Car crashes can cause brain injury because a person will be pushed into their seatbelt and their head will stop violently on impact, pushing the brain against the skull.

There are three major categories of brain injuries; Mild Brain Injury (MBI); Acquired Brain Injury (ABI); and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) which stem from different causes. MBI’s usually are attributable to concussions, which are caused by direct physical contact. ABI’s occur when there is an interruption in flow of oxygen to the brain, and have been attributed to strokes, near drowning, and blocked airways. TBI’s are most commonly caused by falls, automobile accidents and shaken baby syndrome.

The fist step in the treatment of a any of the three types of brain injuries is to go to the emergency room. Early detection of a brain injury greatly improves your chances of recovering. The loss of consciousness is an indicator that a brain injury has occurred. Doctors can use a number of different methods of diagnostic test including blood work, EEG, MRI and CAT scans. If a brain injury is discovered, surgery and medications are generally used to treat the patient. Physical and occupational therapy plans maybe developed to speed recovery and improve the overall quality of life.

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