Did you know that twice as many men experience traumatic brain injuries than do women? That approximately 1.5 million head injuries occur every year in the United States? And that there are approximately 1.6 million to 3.8 million traumatic brain injuries that result from sports – each year? How about that every year, approximately 52,000 people in the United States die as the result of a traumatic head injury?
Did any of those numbers surprise you?
Accidents happen. We all know that. But, very often, accidents aren’t really accidents. They’re crashes that occur because someone was doing something too risky, taking too big a chance, and they failed.
The Brain Trauma Foundation says on its website, “At least 5.3 million Americans, 2% of the U.S. population, currently live with disabilities resulting from TBI.” The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) notes that males also account for two thirds of childhood and adolescent traumatic brain injuries.
Why More Men?
Why are men so much more likely to have a head injury? Because of their lifestyle. You may know already that it’s much more expensive to get car insurance for a young male in North America than a young female. That’s because most of the severe injury accidents are sustained by young men. They also ride more motorcycles, participate in sports that may result in head injuries (football, rugby, for example), are more likely to drink too much alcohol, and they may be more likely to get into fights, either with fists and objects, or even with guns.
Severity of Injury
These injuries can be fairly minor, leading to a mild concussion, or they can be severe enough to cause permanent damage or even death. Actress Natasha Richardson died last year after sustaining a seemingly minor head injury. It wasn’t minor and by the time that was realized, it was too late.
All head injuries should be taken seriously, regardless of loss of consciousness. If someone has sustained a head injury, seek help immediately if the person is:
Difficult to wake up or you can’t keep him/her wake
Slurring his/her words
Has weakness in the limbs or on one side of the body
Weak, unable to walk
Not all head injuries need emergency care, but this is one area where it’s best to be safe than sorry.