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Mild traumatic brain injuries are the most common grade

As we have discussed in the past, traumatic brain injuries are very serious injuries that can affect every aspect of the victim's life. Each year, approximately 1.5 million people in the United States survive a TBI. Of those, approximately 75 to 90 percent are mild TBIs. Sadly, around 50,000 people die in this country each year from a TBI.

Overwhelmingly, the most common reasons for TBIs are falls and motor vehicle accidents. Falls account for 28 percent of TBIs, while motor vehicle accidents account for 20 percent.

It is important to know how a TBI is defined. Generally, TBIs are classified as severe, moderate or mild. These are usually the result of a foreign body penetrating the brain, the head striking an object, an object striking the head or acceleration-deceleration movements that aren't associated with a hit to the head.

There is another cause for TBIs that might interest some people. American troops who are deployed in active combat zones might suffer from TBIs because of the forces generated by explosions. In fact, TBIs are often noted as the hallmark injury for troops injured in Afghanistan and Iraq because of the high incidence of improvised explosive device detonations injuring our troops.

Even in the case of a mild TBI, there is some chance that loss of consciousness, alteration of consciousness and post-traumatic amnesia can occur. Loss of consciousness in a mild TBI can last up to 30 minutes, alteration of consciousness can last up to 24 hours and post-traumatic amnesia can last up to one day.

While some people may say that mild TBIs don't have long-lasting effects, it is important to note that every case is different. Anyone who has suffered from a head injury should be aware that he or she may need ongoing care.

Source: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, "Current Perspectives on Traumatic Brain Injury," accessed April. 26, 2015

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