An intracranial or traumatic brain injury is a severe wound to the head that can result in long-term complications or even death. After an intense blow or penetrating injury, the brain may shift and begin to function poorly.
Even a mild intracranial injury, which people often refer to as a concussion, can have long-lasting consequences. A person may lose consciousness and experience headaches, nausea, memory loss or many other symptoms. Often the only treatment is resting and waiting for recovery.
Most common causes of the injury
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, intracranial injuries are a leading cause of death and disability in the United States. Falls are the most common reason, with car accidents coming in second.
Such data shows that people who make their living on the road as drivers and laborers encounter greater odds of disability from a traumatic brain injury. Even more worrisome is that males are more likely to need hospitalization or experience death from the injury. People living in rural areas also see a greater incidence of risk.
Ways to prevent the injury
A person can do several things to prevent an injury:
- Wearing a seatbelt when driving or riding in a motor vehicle
- Not driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Using safety equipment during contact sports and hazardous work activities
- Reviewing and following safety guidelines at work
After a blow to the head, a person should seek immediate medical attention. Signs such as vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, excess irritability, depression, anxiety and difficulty concentrating could signal a deeper underlying issue.
Accidents are an unfortunate reality of daily life. Extra care by high-risk groups can limit the incidences and decrease the consequences of a traumatic brain injury.