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Traumatic Brain Injuries: A Public Health Issue

Victor Lewin - Thursday, September 18, 2014

Nova Scotia residents might not be aware of the extent to which traumatic brain injuries has become a public health issue in not just their particular province but also the country at large. Authorities state that the prevalence of documented cases of traumatic brain injury in Canada has reached 'epidemic proportions." In general, a traumatic brain injury is a non-congenital injury resulting from an external force that impacts the brain so as to alter its functions.

Statistics indicate that young adults constitute the bulk of incidents involving brain injuries. Reportedly, men are two times as likely as women to suffer a brain injury, and fatal bike accidents are often attributed to brain injuries.

Memory loss and erratic mood changes are two common side effects of a brain injury. While personality changes may be a direct corollary of a brain injury, they may also stem from victims' frustration with their newfound physical or mental limitations.

Other common effects of a serious brain injury involve the cognitive and communicative processes. The changes in these fundamental processes may be subtle. A victim's problem-solving skills may also show signs of attrition.

While advances in medicine may allow victims of traumatic brain injury to continue to live, they often need specialized care for the rest of their lives. Those who provide care for the injured person may experience particular difficulties, authorities state.

Because many cases of traumatic brain injury result from an accident, such as those involving motor vehicles or bicycles, it is possible that some victims of the injury may be entitled to personal injury compensation via civil action. By retaining a personal injury lawyer and filing suit, victims of traumatic brain injury may be awarded restitution for economic damages they suffered in connection with their injury, including the many expenses associated with specialized care.

Source: Brain Injury Association of Canada, "What is Brain Injury?", September 16, 2014

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