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Tennessee campaign targets TBI awareness, prevention

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam recently announced that March is Brain Injury Awareness Month in the state. The need for the campaign is evident by the number of patients admitted to Tennessee hospitals each year with traumatic brain injuries: about 8,000, according to the Tennessee Department of Health. Nationwide, about 1.7 million Americans suffer a brain injury each year.

TBI often takes the form of concussions, in varying degrees of severity. Significantly, brain functioning may be disrupted even in very mild concussions, including those where the individual does not lose consciousness. Consequently, many TBI injury victims will experience symptoms such as headaches, memory loss, disrupted sleep patterns and even depression.

There are a variety of causes for brain injuries. Yet some readers may be surprised to learn that car accidents are not the leading cause of TBI. Rather, falls are the most cited contributor -- many of which might have been prevented, had the individual been wearing a helmet while participating in his or her activity.

TBIs also affect certain age groups more than others. Children under four years old, adolescents, and adults over the age of 65 have the highest incidences of TBI. Furthermore, in each of those age groups, more males are affected.

Advocates of the state's month-long campaign hope it raises awareness and encourages more individuals to wear helmets. However, such precautions cannot defend against every cause of TBI, as in the case of negligent drivers. However, a personal injury attorney can provide assistance to such individuals who may have been injured by another driver's negligence. An attorney can prepare a legal claim that will hopefully give car accident victims the recovery they deserve.

Source: wbir.com, "March is Brain Injury Awareness Month in Tenn.," March 1, 2013

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