Road accidents major cause of traumatic brain injuries, say experts

A majority of patients admitted to the Gleneagles Global Health City with serious brain injuries were involved in road accidents. Around 60%  of head injuries coming to the accident and emergency department are caused by road accidents and the remaining 40 % are work related head injuries in factories, falls at home or on the road, assault-related head injuries and head injuries while playing contact sport like soccer Said Dr Nigel Petersymss, Sr Consultant, Neuro Surgeon, Gleneagles Global Health City.

The old aged above 58 years followed by adults (age 25 to 58) were the most vulnerable victims and those aged above 58 years mainly have Traumatic brain injury from falls, while adults from  25 to 58 years have Traumatic brain injury mostly from road traffic accidents. It is estimated that 95% of the trauma victims are caused by Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and half of those die within 2 hours of injury and majority of the head injury patients are brought to the accident and emergency room after two hours which lead to highest mortality. It is important to note that the success rate of saving the lives of patients with severe head injury is better when they are brought within the golden hour to the hospital added Dr Nigel Symss.

The symptoms of traumatic brain injury may include loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes. They may not have loss of consciousness, but a state of being dazed, confused or disoriented. Other symptoms are seizures, headache, nausea or vomiting, fatigue or drowsiness, difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than usual, dizziness or loss of balance, confusion, agitation, combativeness or another unusual behaviour. Coma and other disorders of consciousness are seen in severe head injuries. In infants and children, the symptoms of brain injury might not be the same as adults as they are unable to communicate easily. You may observe the change in eating or nursing habits, easy irritability, persistent crying and inability to be consoled due to pain. Change in ability to pay attention, change in sleep habits, sad or depressed mood, drowsiness, and loss of interest in favourite toys or activities.

Severe traumatic brain injury can result in prolonged or permanent changes in a person's state of consciousness, awareness or responsiveness. This could be from brain dead to coma or vegetative state. Head injuries are preventable. Wearing helmet while travelling on a two-wheeler, including the pillion rider, and wearing seat belts while travelling in a motor vehicle. Avoid riding or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Wearing safety helmets and protective gear in factories and at construction sites, and avoid falling from heights. Wear a helmet even when riding a bicycle or when engaged in the contact sport. At home avoid falls, especially in the elderly. The house and stairs should be well illuminated, keep the floors dry to avoid slipping and remove hazards in the home that may contribute to falls.

Educating common people on first aid treatment that need to be provided to a head injury victims will reduce the mortality rate due to head injury, said  Dr Nigel.