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Concussions: more common than some think


Concussions: more common than some think

Every year, more than 250,000 people in South Carolina and across the U.S. are hospitalized for traumatic brain injuries with about 50,000 dying from their injuries. Concussions are the most common form of traumatic brain injury and are defined mainly by the neurological deficit that results from them. They can be caused by a blow or jolt to the head or even by vigorous shaking.

Approximately 1.8 million people visit an emergency room each year following a concussion while an estimated 2 million people suffer a concussion but never seek medical treatment. Many incur concussions through contact sports like football and hockey; it was through sports injuries that awareness of concussions spread among doctors. However, concussions are not limited to this field.

Head injuries are a frequent result of car crashes and slip and fall accidents. Military members who see combat also suffer from them. Children 2 years and younger are especially vulnerable with many tragically suffering non-accidental trauma. Even recreational activities like bicycling can lead to a concussion.

The improvement in concussion detection and protocol in the field of professional sports has had a trickle-down effect. In addition, advances in car safety technology have reduced the number of traumatic injuries and fatalities with airbags, anti-lock brakes and traction control all contributing.

Concussions remain all too common, however, in car accidents. If a victim believes that he or she has post-concussion syndrome as a result of the crash, they might consult with a lawyer. The lawyer may be able to speak with medical professionals to prove the connection between the symptoms and the crash. Post-concussion syndrome can sometimes last over a year, so a lawyer might seek compensation from an insurance company or the at-fault driver on behalf of their client.