Monday 16 June 2014

Brain Injury Awareness Month

Listen to the sports news anytime and you will hear about concussions  While it may be one of the most common,  there are other ways that the brain can be injured, such as:
 Brain Damage, the destruction or degeneration of brain cells.
Traumatic brain injury damage that occurs when an outside force traumatically injures the brain.
Stroke, a vascular event causing damage in the brain.
Acquired brain injury, damage to the brain that occurs after birth, regardless of whether it is traumatic or non-traumatic, or whether due to an outside or internal cause. 

Whatever the cause, the symptoms and treatments are varied, recovery time differs widely and it appears that no two injuries are the same.   The brain is an amazing organ and what it can do and how well it can recover from an injury is inspiring.  Whether we have a family member injured in sports or perhaps injured in an accident or suffering from a stroke it is important to understand our role in their recovery. 
Brain Injury Awareness Month serves to bring this subject to the forefront.  Educating the public on safety and promoting support of research are just some of the tasks that are undertaken during June.  Speaker events are held across the country so survivors can tell their stories, connect with other survivors, educate the public and help caregivers understand what kind of support and was  needed or where it was lacking.  
  •  One in five sports related injuries are brain injuries – a concussion is a common brain injury.
  • Approximately one in 26 Canadians are living with a brain injury – stroke is commonly associated with brain injuries.
  • Over 170,000 Canadians incur a brain injury each year. This averages out to about 465 people each day or about one person every 3 minutes.
  • Those most at risk for brain injury are youth and young adults.
  • Every year in Canada, over 11,000 people die as a result of a Traumatic Brain Injury.
The mental, social and economic impacts are rarely discussed publicly. Many families deal with this issue alone.
If you are interested in learning more the library has books, such as The Brain Injury Survival Kit and The Brain Injury Guide for Youth.  Visit the  Brain Injury Association website  for more on events taking place.

--Patricia Milner, Head of Reference Services

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