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Brain injury sufferers benefit from rapid intervention

Pennsylvanians who have suffered head injuries should be aware that concussions and similar forms of harm may escape notice because of their varying symptoms. In one case, a certified physician assistant with the U.S. Public Health Service tripped while she was walking and the fall knocked her unconscious. Even with her medical experience, however, she wasn't aware that she had a concussion until more than two hours later when someone asked her if she was alright and she realized that she had lost a large chunk of time. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.5 million emergency room visits, 50,000 deaths and 280,000 hospitalizations are prompted by traumatic brain injuries each year.

The CDC also notes that protective devices like headgear, vehicle restraints and fall protection may help reduce TBI incidence in the workplace and at home. Still, the woman who suffered her own injury said that effective diagnosis can be hindered by the fact that positive screenings aren't always accurate.

Concussions and other TBIs may not be caught immediately, but medical professionals say that early detection results in more effective treatment. Because each case is unique, injured victims also need to be taught how to care for themselves after sustaining TBIs.

Because brain injury symptoms include a huge range of physiological and psychological symptoms, they can result in major life changes for victims. People who experience cognitive or physical impairment, for instance, may find it difficult to continue working or manage basic affairs. When the injury has been the result of an accident that was due to another party's negligence, such as a car crash caused by an impaired driver, legal counsel could assist in pursuing compensation for the losses that have been sustained.

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