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Preventing Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: the CDC Presents Data

A traumatic brain injury (TBI), tends to sneak up on victims because the symptoms that arise from TBI are subtle and sometimes even unrecognizable. The milder classification, called mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), receives even less attention regardless of it comprising 75% of all traumatic brain injuries in the United States.

The Center for Disease Control, or CDC, has shown increasing concern on the matter, and has been publicly reporting its findings since it is apparent that the effects of MTBI can be serious and cause long term disability and deficits.

The CDC’s annual report was sent to Congress and recommended proactive steps to help prevent this serious public health issue, an issue which Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA fully supports. As Tampa Bay Brain Injury Attorneys, we would love to see the survivors of head injuries receive an accurate diagnosis and the treatment they truly deserve.

CDC established an MTBI Work Group that consists of respected experts in the field of brain injury. The group has hopes of narrowing down and discovering appropriate and practical methods for assessing the occurrence and prevalence of MTBI.

This group also points out techniques which aim to better measure the magnitude of the problem. Congress had enacted the Children’s Health Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-310), whereby data was to be collected on the occurrence and prevalence of MTBI, which the CDC responded to.

MTBI is an injury to the head, resulting from a blunt trauma. The broad definition of MTBI goes on to define its result by one or more of the following conditions:

  • any loss of consciousness
  • any loss of memory of events immediately before or after the accident occurred
  • any change in mental state during the time of the accident (e.g., feeling confused, perplexed, or dazed)
  • neurological deficits that may or may not be transient; but where the severity of the injury does not exceed the following:
    • Post-traumatic amnesia (PTA) no more than 24 hours
    • After 30 minutes of the injury, an initial Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) of 13-15
    • Loss of consciousness for 30 minutes or less

MTBI victims typically have temporary impairments; however, they can also sustain permanent disabilities. It is not unusual to be unable to return to normal activities for weeks or months, sometimes forever. Sadly, a vast number of cases of MTBI are not treated at all because of improperly trained clinicians, and because of the popular notion that hospitalized head injuries are only victims of under reporting.

Development of a more precise system that definitively detects brain injuries is needed now, more than ever. Regardless if the injury is serious or mild, any victim of a brain injury deserves to be treated, insured and uninsured alike, including those in national hospitals and high school and collegiate athletics.

It is crucial that the public is made aware of the consequences related to undiagnosed TBI and MTBI. By spreading knowledge about TBI, advocates hope to give those victims whose lives have been altered another chance.

Clinicians and physicians refer to a system that classifies traumatic brain injury as mild, moderate, and severe by using the scores of the Glasgow Coma Scale, a universal scoring system that assess comas and impaired consciousness.

MTBI, also known as a concussion, minor head injury, minor brain injury or minor head trauma, is one of the most popular neurologic disorders. Although numerous radiological and laboratory methods (i.e., X-rays of the skull, computed tomography of the brain, and MRI) have been used to diagnose TBI, these tests only help to rule out more severe forms TBIs. They are often not sensitive enough in detecting the subtle imaging abnormalities of MTBI.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA would like to see further research undertaken regarding improved, more advanced techniques that accurately diagnose MTBI. The MTBI Work Group’s findings are shocking. People with MTBI and their health care providers must be informed as to the true reality of the injuries faced by sustaining even brief periods of unconsciousness or memory loss caused by a blow to the head. We would like to see individuals with MTBI receive sufficient medical care at the time of the injury, so that they are aware of persistent symptoms that may follow. Early diagnosis is also essential in preventing further injury.

Perhaps the reason MTBI is not taken as seriously as it should be is due to a vague definition of the condition. Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA is pleased to learn that the recently submitted report recommended an official definition to Congress. All practicing health care providers, not just ER doctors and neurologists, need to be thoroughly trained and able to recognize the potential impacts of MTBI.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
727-451-6900