According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 2.5 million people suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in
2010. From 2001 to 2010, the number of people who sought emergency care
for a TBI increased 70 percent. Falls cause 35 percent of them, per the
Brain Injury Association’s 2014
fact sheet, but
car accidents cause another 17 percent. And, as Huffington Post blogger and
A Normal Life author
Lyrysa Smith recently wrote, “Brain injury changes everything.”

The person who suffered the
brain injury may have trouble paying attention, concentrating, or remembering. He or
she may also talk, think, and troubleshoot at a slower pace. When tasks
that used to be easy take longer, he or she may become frustrated, angry,
depressed, or moody.

“Thus, after injury,” Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
states, “individuals with TBI may be unable to function well in
their social roles because of difficulty in planning ahead, in keeping
track of time, in coordinating complex events, in making decisions based
on broad input, in adapting to changes in life, and in otherwise ‘being
the executive’ in one’s own life.”

Caring for someone with a brain injury can take its toll on family and friends.

“Researchers know a lot about the effects of caregiving on health
and well being,” says caregiver.org. “For example, if you
are a caregiving spouse between the ages of 66 and 96 and are experiencing
mental or emotional strain, you have a risk of dying that is 63 percent
higher than that of people your age who are not caregivers.”

To prevent discouragement, resentment, and burnout, the site offers several
suggestions on
how to take care of oneself.

Cleveland Area Brain Injury News

February 20, 2014,
Cleveland Jewish News announced that Akron Children’s Hospital has been awarded a $400,000
grant to educate Summit County residents about traumatic brain injuries.
The hospital has reportedly treated more than 1,000 TBI victims under
age 18 in the last six years.

Lakewood teenager Nick Ventura and his family will hold their nonprofit
organization’s first inaugural event this Saturday, March 22, per
The Lakewood Observer. The St. Ignatius sophomore suffered a traumatic brain injury during an
out-of-town snowboarding adventure in seventh grade. After undergoing
surgery, he spent two weeks in a coma and another six in a pediatric ICU.
He also had to relearn how to walk, talk, and feed himself.

The Ventura’s incorporated the 11 Foundation this January “to
improve the lives of children who need financial assistance to cover medical
treatment and rehabilitation,” per its mission statement.

Additional TBI News

If you suffer a traumatic brain injury in a car accident but don’t
have health insurance, a hospital that is not designated as a trauma center
may transfer you to one that is, according to a study published in the
February issue of
JAMA Surgery. “About 75 percent of U.S. hospitals are non-trauma hospitals,”
according to
USA Today..

A Cleveland doctor told reporter Kim Painter that the law forbids hospitals
from dumping patients who can’t pay and that he “never knows
a patient’s insurance status and never has such conversations with
case managers.”

Still, in a study of more than 4,000 trauma patients under age 65, about
45 percent were transferred. “Transfers were 14 percent less likely
in patients with Medicaid and 11 percent less likely in those with private
insurance,” per Painter.

The Cleveland physician said this may have had more to do with the injury
than the insurance. For instance, people who suffered head injuries were
transferred more often than those who’d suffered an abdominal injury.

“Either way, such occurrences had the potential of putting those
with health coverage at higher risk of not receiving the best trauma care,”
Modern Healthcare stated. “Timely care in a designated trauma center reduces the overall
risk of death rate by 25 percent compared to when it’s provided
at a non-trauma care facility, according to the findings of a 2006 study
published in the New England Journal of Medicine.”

If you suffered a traumatic brain injury, attorney
Chris Mellino welcomes you to
contact our office with any questions you may have.