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Concussions: Just How Prevalent Are They?

by John Gomez | Last Updated: April 22, 2017


People used to describe a blow to the head that left someone woozy or even unconscious for a short period of time as “getting your bell rung.” That’s not to say that people were unreasonable or insensitive with regards to blows to the head, but rather society was just not nearly as informed with regards to this injury as they are now. At this point, there is really no such thing as “getting your bell rung,” and that’s a positive development for society. What we’re talking about in many cases is someone suffering a blow to the head that often leads to a concussion. Concussions occur at an alarming rate, and it’s only in recent years that we have discovered just how often people are concussed even in a general sense. A relatively recent survey sheds some light on the prevalence of concussions, and the traumatic brain injury lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys want to make sure people are aware of this.

About the Concussions Survey

NPR, along with Truven Health Analytics, completed an exhaustive survey on concussions last year. They generated responses from 3,009 people in the United States who answered questions about this injury. Below are the data associated with some of the questions the researchers asked:

…one estimate indicates that as many as 300,000 high school athletes in the United States suffer concussions on an annual basis.

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Have You Ever Suffered a Concussion?

  • Yes: 23.3 percent
  • No: 76.7 percent

If Yes, Did You Seek Medical Treatment?

  • Yes: 78.9 percent
  • No: 21.1 percent

Did You Suffer Any Long-Term Effects?

  • Yes: 71 percent
  • No: 29 percent

Those interested in the complete breakdown of the survey can find it here.

What’s of particular interest is the way the answers above broke down in terms of age of the respondents. That information is as follows:

Have You Ever Suffered a Concussion?

  • 35-64: 24.2 percent said yes.
  • 65+: 13 percent said yes.

If Yes, Did You Seek Medical Treatment?

  • 35-64: 89.2 percent said yes.
  • 65+: 80.5 percent said yes.
Did You Suffer Any Long-Term Effects?
  • 35-64: 29.7 percent said yes.
  • 65+ 29 percent said yes.

These answers tend to show us that younger people may be more aware of the fact that concussions can happen on a regular basis. More younger respondents believe that they have suffered concussions than older respondents. However, older respondents were more likely to seek medical attention. Approximately 30 percent of all respondents believe that they have suffered from long-term effects of a concussion or concussions.

Concussions Statistics In the United States

Unfortunately, there are no specific statistics regarding the number of concussions people suffer in the United States. There are many reasons for this reality, including:

  • Many people still do not obtain medical attention when suffering a blow to the head.
  • Some mistakenly believe that if someone does not lose consciousness, they did not suffer a concussion.
  • A small percentage of concussions are not properly diagnosed.
  • Some concussion symptoms do not necessarily appear until some amount of time has passed.

There are certain statistics that have been measured and extrapolated to an extent, but these statistics relate to specific types of activities. For instance, one estimate indicates that as many as 300,000 high school athletes in the United States suffer concussions on an annual basis. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that more than 2.5 million people in the United States visited an emergency department in 2010 because of a brain injury of some sort. That statistic does not pinpoint the number of concussions.

What we do know is that the number of concussions diagnosed in the United States is rising. We understand this because we know that the number of traumatic brain injuries diagnosed across the country has risen sharply over the past 10 – 15 years. This is most likely due to increased awareness by the general public. As can be seen above, the younger generations of Americans tend to have been exposed more to awareness efforts that provide information with regards to concussions and other forms of traumatic brain injuries.

What To Do If You Suffer a Blow To the Head

Given the data above, it’s safe to say that an enormous number of people in the United States suffer concussions every year. Some people may not realize that this has happened. This is where others need to step in and help the person who has suffered a head blow take the proper steps. Ideas for these steps include:

  • Seek immediate medical attention. This is true even if you do not feel that you have suffered a serious head injury. Traumatic brain injuries are not always immediately obvious.
  • Monitor your symptoms carefully. Concussion symptoms can clear up in days, or they can last for weeks or much longer. Work with your doctor to monitor your overall situation.
  • Do not rush back to strenuous physical activity. This is particularly true of any collision sports, but any rigorous activity can aggravate a concussion. Do not return to your usual activities until your doctor approves of such a step.
  • Communicate with others. Head injuries and concussions do not necessarily show themselves as many other injuries will. If someone is unaware of what’s happened to you, simply tell them and they will most likely understand your situation.

Generally speaking, you need to err on the side of caution when you suffer any type of blow to the head. Doing so could make the difference between a proper recovery and ongoing stress and struggle.

How Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers Can Help

There is another step that you should take if you or someone you love has suffered a head injury because of the faulty actions of someone else. You could face a long and difficult recovery from this injury, and this recovery process could lead to significant losses both in terms of your finances and your enjoyment of life. If you find yourself in this situation, seek the help of traumatic brain injury lawyers who understand what it takes to fight successfully for those who have been wrongfully harmed. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today to schedule a free initial consultation.

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