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Elderly at greater risk of developing brain injuries after falls

People over the age of 65 are more likely to suffer a serious brain injury during a fall.
 
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    December 12, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Recent data provided by the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that the elderly are at a greater risk of developing traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) after falling. Data shows that more than 1.7 million TBIs occur across the country annually, with the highest risk of injury affecting children aged newborn to four, adolescents (particularly males) between the ages of 15 and 19, and those over the age of 65. Every TBI has the potential for catastrophe, since brain injuries result in over 30 percent of all trauma-related deaths in America each year.

The elderly have the highest risk of both receiving a TBI in a fall and of needing hospitalization - or even dying - from their injuries. An estimated 22 percent of those over the age of 65 who sustain a moderate or severe TBI will need inpatient care. Falls, something to which the elderly are uniquely susceptible given their issues with balance and the side effects of many medications, result in a whopping 35 percent of all TBIs sustained annually; this is more than twice the rate of TBIs caused by car accidents.

Knowing the signs of TBI

Unfortunately, even seemingly mild brain trauma, like a bump on the head from a fall, can have grave consequences down the road. Studies are now showing that brain trauma could be linked to higher chances of dementia and other brain-related diseases years later. That is why it is so important that attention is given to the elderly, whether it be by paid caregivers or loved ones, who may have suffered TBIs. While no two cases of TBI are exactly the same, there are some signs and symptoms (provided by the CDC) that could indicate that tests or treatment for TBI are warranted.

These include:
- Evidence of another fall-related injury (like a broken bone)
- Unconsciousness, even briefly
- Headache
- Fatigue
- Irritability
- Swelling or bruising on the head
- Changes in personality or a feeling that something about the person is "off"
- Confusion/disorientation
- Nausea
- Blurred vision or ringing in the ears
- Difficulty remembering new information
- Changes in sleeping or eating patterns
- Inability to remember that a fall occurred (when other signs point to one or a fall has been witnessed)

It is true that some of these symptoms are typically associated with advanced age, but the key is to note if any of them were sudden-onset, worsened quickly or are reported directly by the person in question.

Getting the answers you need

Traumatic brain injuries don't just affect the person suffering them, but have a much greater cost; they result in more than $76 billion annually in medical expenses and indirect costs (lost wages, lost productivity, remodeling a home to make it accessible for someone with medical difficulties, etc.).

Have you or a loved one - of any age - suffered brain injury after a slip and fall on commercial property or a motor vehicle accident? Was the fall or crash caused by the negligence of a person or business? Are you worried about the medical and indirect costs of seeking treatment? For the answers to these and any other questions you may have about seeking compensation for a victim of TBI, speak with a skilled personal injury lawyer in your area.

Article provided by Law Office of John W. Redmann, L.L.C.
Visit us at www.redmannlaw.com



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