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Traumatic brain injury reports on the rise

Readers in West Virginia may be alarmed to hear that an increasing number of people appear to be suffering concussions in America, based on new research. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that results from a blow to one’s body or head. Visits by those seeking traumatic brain injury treatment jumped by more than 29 percent from 2006 to 2010.

Many factors could be contributing to the growth in the total number of patients experiencing brain injuries in recent years. For instance, either more people are actually suffering injuries to their brains or they are taking brain damage more seriously by seeking treatment, which they would not have done in years past. Both factors may actually be contributing to the spike in reported concussions, researchers say.

The new brain injury research specifically looked at hospital visits for brain injuries such as hemorrhages, contusions and cerebral lacerations. Researchers also looked at skull fractures and also examined concussions, which seem to be linked to a high percentage of brain injury-related treatment. The greatest increase in visits for brain injuries were among kids below 3 years old and adults above 60 years old.

The effects of traumatic brain injury in West Virginia can be wide-ranging, including memory problems, fatigue and paralysis. A person’s quality of life may be dramatically decreased due to such injuries. If another individual caused the injury because of negligent behavior, such as by means of a motor vehicle accident or by a failure to maintain his or her premises, this person may be held liable for monetary damages sustained. The court will determine claims for damages in the victim’s favor if it finds that financial liability has been established through competent proof of negligence.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, "ER visits for head injuries jump 29% over 4 years", Karen Kaplan, May 18, 2014

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