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March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) are the leading causes of injury-related death and disability in the United States, and 155 people die every day on average. As a result, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is proclaiming March 2021 as “Brain Injury Awareness Month” to promote awareness of brain injuries.

Falls are the leading cause of TBI (40%) in the United States and cause more than half of all TBIs in children ages 0 to 14 years. Falls cause 81% of TBIs among adults aged 65 and older. Other leading and preventable causes of TBI include being struck by an object or person, motor vehicle crashes and substance abuse.

Prevention strategies reduce the risk for TBI and death and include: removing hazards in and around the home, using protective gear while playing sports, taking caution in bad weather, and driving unimpaired and without distractions.

“Making sure your home is safe, your healthcare provider is aware of all of your medications, and having routine physicals are ways you can work to prevent falls which may lead to TBI,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). “Prevention strategies, such as removing hazards in and around the home such as rugs and clutter in walkways, keeping sports safe by wearing protective gear including helmets, and always wearing a seatbelt while in a vehicle can also help reduce the risk.”

Observable signs of traumatic brain injury may include appearing dazed or stunned, forgetting an instruction, moving clumsily, answering questions slowly, losing consciousness, showing mood, behavior or personality changes and being unable to recall events prior to and/or after a hit or fall.

For more information, visit the CDC website on Traumatic Brain Injury.

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