Sometimes people in Ontario and other provinces or territories suffer blows to their heads without realizing the harm that was done because symptoms might be delayed. When symptoms do appear, they might not be associated with the incident, thereby delaying the diagnosis and prompt treatment of brain injuries. The complications of brain injuries can be limited by early treatment.
Care for children with concussions worldwide, including in Ontario, will likely benefit from research done at a university in another province and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A co-author of a report that was recently released says the work done at an integrated concussion research program will assist physicians who have to deal with concussions in children. He says many cases are not reported, but the reported cases of children suffering mild traumatic brain injuries have doubled over recent years, which might be due to more awareness.
Some types of injuries after Ontario accidents affect not only the victims but also those who provide care -- often a spouse, a parent or even an adult child if the injured party is a parent. Brain injuries, for example, affect everyone around the victim because caring for that person could be extremely demanding and stressful. Caring for a loved one adds to the caregiver's usual responsibilities, and while it might be manageable at first, stress can build up, and the lack of breaks can lead to emotional exhaustion.
Some car accidents in Ontario and elsewhere can have devastating consequences. This is underscored by the fate of a former constable who suffered traumatic brain injuries in 1987 and lived in a vegetative state for more than 30 years. His wife visited him faithfully every day where he was bedridden in a small hospital room for all those years.
The severity of damage caused in accidents is not always immediately evident. This also applies to brain injuries, of which the level of damage depends on the area of the brain that is injured along with the severity of the swelling that happens. Although doctors in Ontario and elsewhere rely on tests like EEGs and CT Scans to determine the damage done to the brain, they can never predict how long a patient will take to recover.
Participants in various types of contact sports in Ontario are at risk of suffering head injuries. However, brain injuries can have other causes, and not all of them follow head trauma. Those that are caused by a blow to the head are called acquired brain injuries, and they can follow car accidents, falls or assaults.
A non-profit organization recently hosted a workshop in Toronto to help head-injury victims to understand why self-care is essential during the recovery time. An occupational therapist said those who suffered brain injuries typically find it extremely challenging to get their lives back into a familiar routine. She emphasized that each brain injury is unique, and recovery times vary. However, because TBI is mostly invisible to others, adults and adolescents are often expected to get back into their usual schedules and responsibilities.
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.
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