World Head Injury Awareness  Day

World Head Injury Awareness Day

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Highlights
  • World Head Injury Awareness Day is celebrated on 20th March every year
  • "Change Your Mind" is the theme for the years 2018 to 2020
  • On this day, an awareness campaign helps educate the general public about traumatic head injuries.
World Head Injury Awareness Day is observed every year on 20th March. The theme for 2018-2020 is "Change Your Mind."
World Head Injury Awareness Day

The campaign helps create an awareness campaign to educate the general public about traumatic head injuries and to let them know that they are not alone.

What is Head Injury?

Head injury is one of the most common causes of disability and death in adults, which could range from a mild bump and concussion to severe traumatic brain injury.

Head injuries are sustained when there is an external trauma to the scalp, skull or brain. Head injuries can be closed (no skull fracture) or penetrated (skull fracture and following brain injury).

Types of Head Injury

An acquired brain injury (ABI) is not hereditary or congenital or degenerative or induced by birth trauma. But, occurs after birth.

Brain injuries can be classified as traumatic and non-traumatic. They can also be classified as mild, moderate, or severe to indicate the severity of the injury.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI), otherwise known as the intracranial injury can occur when an external force injures the brain.

Non-traumatic brain injury occurs when an internal force such as an illness or condition within the body affects the brain.

Head injuries can be:
  • Scalp wounds
  • Skull fractures
  • Concussion (the most common type of traumatic head injury)

Causes of Head Injury

Head injuries can be severe and can cause bleeding in the brain tissue and the layers surrounding the brain (subarachnoid hemorrhage, subdural hematoma, and extradural hematoma).

Head injuries may be caused by some reasons including
  • Traffic accidents
  • Household accidents
  • Outdoor injuries
  • Physical assault
  • Falls

Symptoms of Head Injury

The symptoms can be determined based on the severity of the head injury and brain damage. Symptoms can either be mild, moderate or severe. Some symptoms can be seen immediately following the brain injury, while others might take several days or weeks.

The symptoms of head injuries include:
  • Superficial scalp wounds
  • Swelling and bruising (indicative of fractures)
  • Swollen eyes with eyelids shut
  • Nasal bleeding and discharge
  • Bleeding or discharge from the ears
  • Stiff neck
  • Slurring of speech
  • Blurry eyes and loss of consciousness

Diagnoses of Head Injury

  The diagnosis is made possible by a physical examination and diagnostic testing. the diagnostic tests include:
Trauma to the head causes neurological problems and requires further medical follow up.

Treatment of Head Injury

A head injury causes the brain to swell, which builds pressure inside the skull leading to brain damage.

The treatment of head injury is individualized, depending on the extent of the damage and also the presence of other injuries.

For severe head injury, the patient may require monitoring for increased intracranial pressure.

Prevention of Head Injury

The National Institute for Occupational Health, South Africa gives the following recommendations for the prevention of head injuries:
  • Always wear a seatbelt in a four-wheeler
  • Wear a helmet when on a two-wheeler
  • Use an appropriate child safety seat
  • Do not drink and drive
  • Use a helmet in contact sports like football, baseball, horse riding and skiing
  • Watch your step while walking or running
  • Avoid slippery floor areas whether at home or outside

Facts about Brain Injury

  • For every 7 minutes, someone dies of a brain injury.
  • Over 12 million Americans were found to be living with an ABI.
  • Nearly, 5.3 million Americans live with a disability caused due to TBI.
  • For every 23 seconds, someone in the U.S. sustains a TBI.
  • Men are 1.5 times more likely to sustain a TBI than women
  • TBI is highly seen among adolescents, young adults and people older than 75.
Acquired head injuries are preventable, and a few careful steps can go a long way in preventing trauma and keeping people safe.

References:
  1. March is Brain Injury Awareness Month - (https://opportunities.org/march-brain-injury-awareness-month/)
  2. Brain Injury Awareness - (https://www.biausa.org/public-affairs/public-awareness/brain-injury-awareness)
  3. World Head Injury Awareness Day - (http://www.nioh.ac.za/?page=topical&id=13&rid=56)
  4. Head Injury - (https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/nervous_system_disorders/head_injury_85,P00785)

Source: Medindia
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