Friday, March 20, 2009

Heads Up to Trauma and Injuries

The recent death of the actress Natasha Richardson has jolted quite a number of people who are trying to make sense of this tragedy. How could this happen? According to the reports, she was taking a beginners course and while she was at the bottom of the run, in the area that they call the flats, she fell and tumbled down the hill. Her ski instructor also said that she did not hit anyone or anything. She appeared to be fine as she stated that she was fine. The events that followed hours after her fall quickly turned into a bedside vigil and many awaited anxiously for news of her progress.

Although we may not often hear about these forms of death related injuries, there are an estimated 1.5 million head injuries that occur in the United States each year. Statistics report that each year 52,000 deaths are a result of a traumatic brain injury. Furthermore, an estimated 1.6 million to 3.8 million are sports related.

Keep in mind that there are also work related injuries (veterans, construction, moving, delivery, etc.) motorcycle accidents, cars, skating, skiing, even playing in the playground that may cause a severe brain trauma injury. It is very important that you seek medical attention as some studies have shown that all brain damage does not occur at the moment of impact but rather evolves over the ensuing hours and days after the initial injury, due to brain swelling and inadequate oxygen and blood flow to the injured brain. Time is of the essence. Some brain injuries may need surgical intervention to avoid fatal outcomes.

Many who have survived head trauma injuries had to have some form of intense rehabilitation, a startling 5.3 million Americans, which is 2% of the U.S. population, are currently living with disabilities.

Heads Up:
-Wear helmets
-Buckle up put on your seat belts
-Avoid speeding/wreckless driving
-Keep your eyes out on the road for the irresponsible driver
-Do not drink and drive
-Avoid showing off when you want to impress others with your skills whether it is a hand stand, a somersault, a wheelie, or some other stunt that can cause injury – abstain - do not do it!

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