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Did you know?
An estimated 1.2 - 3.8 million sports or recreation related concussions occur annually in the United States and over 200,000 Coloradans live with the health effects of a brain injury (AAN, 2013; BIAC, 2014). In Colorado approximately 5,200 hospitalizations and 27,000 emergency room visits are related to traumatic brain injury annually (CBIP, 2014). Additionally, TBIs and concussions are the number one reported traumatic injury at St. Anthony Summit Medical Center and in Summit County.
What is a TBI?
A traumatic brain injury can be any type of damage to the brain resulting from a traumatic event such as impacting the head while skiing or bicycling. However, many brain injuries occur from infection, tumors, toxins, lack of oxygen, or stroke (BIAC, 2014). A concussion is a term used to commonly describe a mild TBI. A person does not need to lose consciousness to sustain a concussion and can still occur while wearing a helmet. A concussion is a clinical diagnosis made by a licensed medical professional after a careful evaluation of the injured individual. A concussion cannot be viewed on a CAT scan or MRI.
What you need to know :
TBIs and concussions can present differently in different people and the severity of the symptoms or outcome cannot be determined at the time of injury. Common symptoms following a concussion can range from mild to severe and often involve: confusion, memory loss, nausea or vomiting, headache, balance or vision problems and extreme emotional reactions (McAvoy, 2011). However, most concussions resolve successfully if managed well within the first few weeks after an injury (McAvoy, 2011). A brain-injured person needs time to rest, both physically and cognitively, and should avoid activities that may increase the chances for further injury to the brain. If you, or someone you know, have sustained an impact or jolt to the head you should be evaluated by a medical professional.
How we can help :
Often a person may be unaware they have even sustained a concussion. If you are experiencing continued or worsening symptoms after an injury or accident such as headache, dizziness, balance or vision problems, fatigue, sadness, irritability or trouble concentrating you may have a concussion and be experiencing what is called Post-Concussion Syndrome.
There is help available and St Anthony Summit Medical Center can assist individuals find the treatment and care they need to recover and heal from a traumatic brain injury or concussion. The SASMC TBI program is supported by a Nurse Navigator experienced in working with individuals who have sustained a TBI and is familiar with the resources available both locally and state-wide to help those affected by a brain injury. The Nurse Navigator can consult with individuals and families to create an individualized plan for recovery. Additionally, the TBI program hosts two monthly support group meetings and offers multiple community events and educational presentations to promote TBI awareness, prevention, and treatment in Summit County.
Questions… If you have questions or would like more information regarding the TBI program at SASMC, please contact Jennifer Kagan at JenniferKagan@Centura.org or 970 668 6121
Thank you for your interest in the SASMC traumatic brain injury program. Please view and share our free educational video with students, athletes, coaches, educators, counselors, and health care providers. It is our goal to enhance the understanding of TBI and concussions for our
patients and community members.
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