March is brain injury awareness month, a time dedicated to educating the public about brain injuries and celebrating the accomplishments of patients on their journeys of recovery. More than 2.5 million Americans suffer traumatic brain injuries every year, and the Brain Injury Association of America estimates that 5.3 million adults and children in the United States are living with a brain injury-related disability.
Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) is home to Kentucky’s only level II trauma center, which is equipped to provide life-saving care 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to patients involved in serious accidents or who have experienced a traumatic injury.
A brain injury can be the result of an accident, stroke, sports injury or infectious disease, just to name a few, and is one of the leading causes of death for children and young adults in America. Concussions are the most common type of brain injury, occurring because of a blow or jolt to the head or body, which causes the brain to bounce back and forth against the skull. Signs of a concussion can show up immediately or in the following days after an injury and can include nausea, headache, fatigue, confusion, mood changes, sleep disturbances and even memory loss.
Because the brain cannot be seen or felt, many forget it should be as protected as any other body part. Here are some tips to minimize the chances of brain injury:
1. Always wear a seatbelt.
2. Use properly installed car seats and booster seats for children. Use recommended seat based on child’s age and size.
3. Wear a helmet during activities which may result in a fall or head collision i.e., biking, rollerblading, skateboarding, skiing, snowboarding, etc.
4. Use handrails while walking down stairs.
5. Place childproof gates at the top of home stairways to protect children.
6. Consider the surface children are playing on. Soft surfaces like mulch or sand are best.
7. Ensure children’s helmets are correctly fitted when playing sports.
8. Use proper strategies to avoid blows to the head when playing sports.
9. Use non-slip mats in the bathtub or on the shower floor.
10. Clear floors of any clutter or trip hazards.
For more information on the
Trauma Center at Pikeville Medical Center, visit