More than 28 people are hospitalized for a traumatic brain injury (TBI) every day in Michigan; more than one each hour. As March is Traumatic Brain Injury Prevention Awareness Month, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and Brain Injury Association of Michigan (BIAMI) are encouraging residents to take steps to keep themselves and their families safe.
On average, there were more than 10,300 hospitalizations and 1,500 deaths a year between 2010 and 2014 due to a TBI in Michigan, and the majority of these injuries are from falls. Other preventable causes of TBI include being struck by or against an object or person, motor vehicle crashes, and assaults, including abusive head trauma.
“In many cases, traumatic brain injuries and deaths are preventable,” said Nick Lyon, MDHHS director. “Specifically, parents, older adults, and caregivers are encouraged to take steps to eliminate the risk for these types of injuries and keep their loved ones safe.”
Parents are encouraged to be involved in their teen’s driving education to help foster safe driving practices. Additionally, parents and caregivers are strongly encouraged to make sure infants have a safe sleep environment, and take steps to make sure TVs and heavy furniture are anchored. Older adults are encouraged to speak with their doctors for a falls risk assessment to prevent falls at home and improve mobility. All residents are encouraged to wear helmets when riding bikes or motorcycles, and everyone engaged in youth sports is encouraged to learn about sports concussions.
Michigan law requires that a youth athlete be immediately removed from physical participation in an athletic activity if a concussion is suspected. Signs and symptoms of a concussion include (but are not limited to) a headache or feeling of pressure in the head, nausea or vomiting, balance problems or dizziness, double or blurry vision, sensitivity to light and/or noise, feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy or groggy, having confusion or concentration or memory problems, not “feeling right” or “feeling down.”
“An estimated 58,000 Michigan residents sustain a TBI every year,” said Tom Constand, President of the BIAMI. “Whatever stage of recovery they may be in, we can help survivors, families, caregivers and the public access Michigan’s extensive network of resources to help support TBI survivors.”
More information is available from the BIAMI at 1-800-444-6443 or www.biami.org. Additionally, there are a number of informative resources about TBI at www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury.
For more tips to keep your home safe, visit www.cpsc.gov, and www.safekids.org. More information about sports concussions is available at www.michigan.gov/spotsconcussion. Additional resources for seniors for classes to prevent falls and improve mobility and independence may be found at www.greatatanyagemi.com.
Source: Michigan Department of Health and Human Services