According to the Centre For Mental Health, traumatic brain injuries result in around 160,000 UK hospital admissions each year, leading to around 1.3 million people living with disabilities as a result of their injury. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the statistics surrounding brain injuries and the impact that brain injuries can have.
The Impact of Brain Injuries
Brain injuries can occur at any age from birth to older age and there are a variety of causes. A traumatic brain injury is caused by trauma to the head, for example, as a result of a fall, a car accident or a concussion. You can also suffer a brain injury as a result of non-traumatic incidents such as a stroke, brain haemorrhage or lack of oxygen and these are typically referred to as acquired brain injuries.
In the UK, around 1.4 million people – including up to 700,000 children – visit A&E with a head injury each year and research suggests that the younger a child is at the time of their brain injury, the more serious the long-term consequences are likely to be.
The impact of brain injuries shouldn’t be underestimated. Brain injury is the leading cause of death and severe disability worldwide and brain injuries often affect the individual’s physical and mental health, as well as their relationships with others and the lives of those around them.
Depending on the severity of the brain injury, it could result in a coma, a short-term loss of consciousness or a concussion and in the long-term, brain injuries can cause changes in personality, mood and behaviours, memory and communication issues and physical health problems.
How to Support a Loved One With Brain Injury
When a loved one suffers a brain injury, there are practical things you can do to help in the short-term, such as visiting them in the hospital, liaising with their medical team and supporting them through their rehabilitation.
However, it may be some time before they – and you – fully understand what the long-term effects of their brain injury will be and what kind of adjustments or plans might need to be put in place. In the meantime, the best thing you can do is to be there for them and listen to any fears or concerns they have without judgment. You may also want to seek legal advice by contacting a solicitor specialising in brain injury claims.
When a loved one suffers a brain injury, it can be difficult to come to terms with what has happened and how your life is going to change. If you’re struggling, then reaching out to others who have been through or are going through the same thing, can help. The UK’s Brain Injury Association, Headway offers support to those living with brain injury and their loved ones.