What are the varying degrees of severity when it comes to TBI?
Brain injuries are classified into three separate categories: mild, moderate and severe. Medical professionals have different methods to help determine the severity of brain injury. One way they determine the severity of the injury is by determining the length of time in a coma and/or post-traumatic amnesia (PTA). Mild traumatic brain injuries usually have a coma or PTA that lasts less than one hour. A moderate TBI can keep an individual in a coma or PTA between one and 24 hours, and a severe TBI is a coma or PTA that lasts longer than 24 hours. Another way to determine the severity of a TBI is by using the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS).
How to prevent TBI
While sometimes a TBI cannot be avoided, you can take steps to help prevent these types of injuries. Here are some ways that can help you in avoiding a TBI:
- Always wear a seat belt in a motor vehicle
- Use an appropriate child safety seat or a booster
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Always wear a helmet when on a bicycle, motorcycle, scooter, snowmobile and other open/unrestrained vehicles
- Wear a helmet when participating in contact sports
- Wear a helmet when horseback riding
- Wear a helmet while skiing, snowboarding, skating and skateboarding
Fall Prevention Methods
- Use the rails on stairways
- Provide adequate lighting, especially on stairs for people with poor vision or who have difficulty walking
- Place bars on windows to prevent children from falling
- Sit on safe stools
- Do not place obstacles in walking pathways
- Keep guns locked in a cabinet
- Store guns unloaded
- Store ammunition apart from guns
Also, the Brain Injury Association of Illinois has some great fact sheets on brain injuries which can be found here.