Who Gets Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?
Brain injuries do not discriminate and anybody can get them. It’s important to understand that nobody is immune to sustaining a brain injury because they ought to be seen as events which could have been modified or prevented had one of the parties acted differently. In the case of a drunk driver causing a car accident resulting in a brain injury to the accident victim, it’s clear that the drunk driver’s choices could have been prevented. In the case of a cyclist falling off his bike while not wearing a helmet and sustaining a brain injury; perhaps the brain injury could have been prevented had a helmet been worn. In the case of a hockey player getting concussed during a game having taken an aggressive head shot; that could have been prevented had the other player not made a dirty play. We here at Goldfinger Personal Injury Law do acknowledge that some brain injuries might be unavoidable as we can only prevent things over which we have control.
One of the highest risk groups for sustaining TBI are those who have already sustained a previous TBI. If your brain has been traumatically injured, then the chance of it getting injured again are greater than those who have not had it injured before. There are a lot of reasons for this. One is that the brain gets weaker and weaker after each hit. Like professional hockey players sustaining concussions repeatedly. After their first concussion, the likelihood of sustaining a further concussion goes up. This has caused many professional hockey players their careers. Eric Lindros left hockey early on account of a concussion problem. Sidney Crosby sat out for over one and a half seasons of professional hockey in the prime of his career because of was battling concussions.
Another reason why people who have sustained brain injury are at greater risk of sustaining further head injury is because people who sustain TBI often have problems with their thinking abilities and impulse control. This can result in unsafe behavior and putting themselves into positions which are not best for their own health.
There are two peaks in brain injury which relate to age. The first peak is for late teenagers and early year adults (16-23). Boys are twice more likely to sustain TBI than girls. In North America, boys by the age of 16 have a 4% chance of sustaining TBI. That chance is just 2.2% for girls the same age.
The second peak for sustaining brain injury is for the elderly (70+).
Children from lower income families are also more likely to sustain TBI. This is largely related to decreased access to safety equipment/preventative measures (like bike helmets); and a lack of safe play areas. This is why Goldfinger Personal Injury Law donates over 100 bike helmets per year to children in need in the hope of preventing brain injury.
Certain behaviours increase the risk of TBI. In particular, using drugs or alcohol are high risk behaviours for TBI.
Common causes of TBI also vary depending on the age group. Infants and toddlers most often sustain brain injury after falls, and unfortunately, from child abuse. As children become more independent and begin to run and play outside, and ride bicycles; TBI occurs more often in these settings. In adolescence, the most common cause of TBI are car accidents and participation on contact sports such as football, hockey or soccer. In adulthood, the most common cause of TBI are car accidents and violence. The elderly’s most common cause of TBI are slip and falls.