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Head Injury or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Head Injury or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

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Head Injury or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a major cause of death or disability worldwide, especially in developing countries. The incidence is increasing globally with an advent of fast moving vehicles and terrorism. India is leading the pack. The largest bracket is in the age group of 15 to 25 and thereafter 26 to 45. The age groups at most risks of mortality are adults over 65 and children between 5 to 9 years. Care for head injury patients is a major financial burden to the society and government.
Good quality of medical care is available in metro & big cities in India but such medical care is grossly lacking in rural areas. The Epidemic of head injury is destroying the future of nation and needs to be addressed proactively.
About 30% of head injury patients are accident victims. According to a study conducted in Bangalore in 2006, road traffic results in 11 Lakh deaths, 25 lakh hospitalization, and 80,000 minor injuries and economic losses to the tune of 3% of India’s GDP. India has emerged as the capital of head injuries in road accident across the world and more than 2 lakh people die every year in India. In the national capital, more than 2 people die every day because of road accidents. Males suffer more head injury than females as they are exposed to the environment and are prone to vehicle accidents, falls, sports and violence.
Prevention is better than cure and this include use of helmets, seat belts,safe driving practice, and proper protection at a place of work, sports and avoidance of violence. Driving under the influence of alcohol not only endangers the driver’s life but also is harmful to other people on the road.
Early treatment of head injury is the key to success for management of head injury. The treatment should start at the site of trauma. Head injury results when the head suffers a blow and that force is violent enough to damage the scalp, skull or underlying brain.This could lead to disruption of brain and bodily functions. This may be associated with injury to other parts of body, which secondarily harm the brain. Other simultaneous dangerous injuriesinclude spine fracture, long bone fracture, and chest or abdominal injury. External bleeding from the scalp or another part of the body can also be fatal. Initial handling and first aid of a head injury patient who may be unconscious is very different and need some basic training.
This should be taught in school so that every citizen knows what to do when they see such patient and they could carefully shift the patient to a nearby hospital. This includes stopping the bleeding, side turning, immobilizing the neck, removing tight clothes, basic heart and breathing resuscitation, if required or even applying a splint for long bone fracture.

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