March is Brain Injury Awareness Month and it is a good time to become better informed. The is hosting their anual on March 21 and 28 to raise funds for brain injury prevention and support programs for those with a brain injury.
Goodwill runs two NeuroRehabilitation facilities for individuals with brain injury in Portland and Lewiston, Maine. Terry Roy, Goodwill’s Education and Outreach Coordinator for Brain Injury Services, has written the following to remind us what we can do to avoid a brain injury.
Learning about Brain Injury
It can happen in an instant: a car accident, a fall, a bump on the head. It is unpredictable: a stroke, a brain tumor, an infection. It can happen to anyone: your parent, your spouse, your friend, your child, or you. March is Brain Injury Awareness Month and it is a good time to become better informed. An Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) is an injury to the brain which is not hereditary, congenital, or degenerative. It is an injury that occurs after birth.
There are many causes of ABI—car accidents, falls, stroke, violence, toxic exposure, cardiac arrest, seizure disorders, and sports and recreational accidents. Injuries caused by an external physical force, like a motor vehicle accident or fall, are referred to as a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
Brain injury is the leading cause of disability and death for young people in the United States. It disables thousands of Maine citizens each year, permanently altering their lives and the lives of their families. Some of the symptoms following a brain injury include memory loss, organizational difficulties, physical limitations, speech problems, and personality changes.
Each injury is unique and the impact of the injury will depend on the individual injured.
Depending on the symptoms, an individual may have difficulty returning to their daily activities, such as, work, driving, hobbies, and personal relationships. Following a brain injury, treatment in a therapeutic rehabilitation program can help with recovery. With rehabilitation services and support from family and friends, individuals with a brain injury can get back on track and be successful in reaching their goals.
Help Prevent Brain Injury
There are many ways to help prevent a brain injury. Wear your seat belt every time you drive or ride in a car. Buckle your child in the car using the appropriate child safety seat. Never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Wear a helmet and make sure your children wear helmets when riding a bike, motorcycle, scooter, or all-terrain vehicle.