Brain injuries always present serious problems both to those who suffer them and to their families and friends. One of the many reasons that this situation can be so challenging is because the long-term traumatic brain injury effects can be extremely difficult if not impossible to predict. Some studies have focused on sleep patterns in terms of this recovery from a brain injury. Others have looked at stem cells as a possibility for treating traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs. A recent study focused on children who suffered traumatic brain injuries and how they tended to recover based on their family environments. The conclusions drawn could lead to additional research into the overall environment a TBI patient lives in as he or she fights to recover from this harm. The traumatic brain injury lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys hope we continue to learn as much as possible.
<2>About the Long-Term Traumatic Brain Injury Effects Study
Researchers from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center completed the study. They presented it at the annual meeting of the Association of Academic Physiatrists in early February. The study itself has not yet been published, but those who want to read a description of it can find it here. The researchers spent several years studying children who had survived traumatic brain injuries. They studied the subjects for an average of seven years.
The researchers looked at the connection between traumatic brain injuries and ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and the family environments of the subjects. They found the following:
- Patients who suffered mild to moderate traumatic brain injuries were twice as likely to develop attention problems as those who did not suffer a brain injury.
- Patients who suffered a severe traumatic brain injury were five times as likely to develop secondary ADHD.
- Children who suffered severe traumatic brain injuries who lived in optimal family environments showed relatively few effects from those injuries.
- Children who had suffered milder traumatic brain injuries but lived in disadvantaged or chaotic homes often demonstrated persistent problems related to the initial injury.
Therefore, the researchers concluded that the family environment for these children had a direct impact on their recoveries from their traumatic brain injuries. Long-term brain injury effects can either be exacerbated or mitigated based on a child’s environment. The researchers also stated that they were going to continue studying different aspects of this issue in hopes of uncovering solutions that could help lead to an established approach to recovery from traumatic brain injuries.
Traumatic Brain Injury Statistics
One of the many reasons that this study and others like it are so important is because of the prevalence of traumatic brain injuries in the United States, especially with children. The statistics reveal that this is a massive – and growing – problem that needs to be addressed on every level and from every direction. According to statistics provided by the Brain Injury Association of America, or the BIAA, the following number of children are affected by TBI in the United States every year:
- 564,000 children report to hospital emergency rooms because of head injuries.
- 435,000 or 77 percent of all children who report to emergency rooms because of traumatic brain injuries, are younger than 15 years old.
- 62,000 people under the age of 20 suffer traumatic brain injuries that require hospitalization.
- 37,000, or 60 percent of all children who require hospitalization, are under the age of 15.
- 2,685 children under the age of 15 die every year because of traumatic brain injuries.
Broken down further, these statistics reveal the following on a per-day basis in the United States:
- 1,545 children report to emergency rooms because of head injuries.
- Nearly 1,200 of these daily trips to the emergency room concern patients under the age of 15.
- 169 people under the age of 20 suffer TBIs that require hospitalization.
- More than 100 of these daily hospitalizations are patients under the age of 15.
- More than 7 children under the age of 15 die every day because of traumatic brain injuries.
Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries in Children
According to several different sources, the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries in very young children – those under 3 years of age – are falls and some form of abuse. As children get older, they tend to suffer traumatic brain injuries in many of the same ways that adults do, absent a few differences. Leading causes of traumatic brain injuries in children overall include:
- Physical trauma
- Playground injuries
- Auto accidents
The key for the immediate aftermath of any blow to the head is for an adult to make sure that the child is immediately evaluated by a doctor. This is true even if it does not seem as though the head injury is significant. Some severe traumatic brain injuries do not manifest themselves by way of overt physical symptoms.
In addition, parents or adults caring for a child who has suffered a traumatic brain injury need to err on the side of caution when it comes to reintegrating that child back into his or her routine. If the child does not seem to be feeling well, he or she should be allowed to rest for as long as necessary. Finally, and in furtherance of the findings from the study above, children who suffer traumatic brain injuries need to have an environment around them that promotes healing and stability. The less a child has to think about his or her home life, the better his or her recovery will likely be.
How a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer Can Help
Unfortunately, a lot of children suffer traumatic brain injuries because of the negligent or reckless actions of someone else. When that happens, the long-term effects can be severe. In addition, everyone around that child needs to adjust and make sure that he or she is given every opportunity to recover from that harm. People who face this situation need to seek the help of traumatic brain injury lawyers who understand what it takes to hold those responsible for these difficult circumstances accountable. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today for a free case evaluation.