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Brain injuries: Authorities concerned about lack of knowledge

Authorities have concerns about the lack of knowledge among people in Ontario regarding concussions. Surveys have indicated that many people do not know that concussions are traumatic brain injuries, nor do they know how to prevent them. Many respondents indicated that they would not recognize symptoms, and some said they do not know where to obtain information about concussions.


Plans to increase concussion awareness

These concerns have led to the order for the Minister of Health to collaborate with the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities to establish a pan-Canadian strategy and implement it to raise concussion awareness. Parents, athletes and coaches will be targeted and informed about concussion treatment and prevention. The president of Parachute Canada said although concussions are prevalent in all sports, the knowledge gap is at home because concussion symptoms are not as evident as cuts, bruises or broken bones.

Brain Injury Canada’s executive director believes the lack of basic knowledge is a problem. She says many respondents to surveys have indicated that they think helmets prevent concussions. However, a concussion follows a jolt that causes the brain to smash against the inside of the skull. Wearing a helmet cannot prevent the brain from moving; thus, it cannot prevent a concussion.

Support for brain-injury victims

Brain injuries, even those classified as mild, can have long-term consequences that could require ongoing medical care. If the negligence of another person caused a brain injury, the victim -- or the parents if it is a child -- might have grounds to pursue financial relief through the Ontario civil justice system.

Such action might seem daunting, but the support and guidance of an experienced lawyer who frequently deals with claims involving brain injuries are available. A lawyer can assess the viability of a lawsuit, and then navigate any ensuing legal proceedings in pursuit of recovering economic and noneconomic damages on behalf of the plaintiff.

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