Traumatic Brain Injury and the Elderly

Research has revealed that traumatic brain injury is not just a problem for athletes but also for the older adult population. According to statistics, traumatic brain injury is cited in more than 80,000 emergency room visits each year among the 65 and older population. The number of non-fatal traumatic brain injuries in the general population is about 60.6 per 100,000 population, but among adults over the age of 65 this rate more than doubles at 155.9 per 100,000 population. The 75 and older adult population also has the highest rates of traumatic brain injury-related hospitalization and death.

What Causes Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic brain injury can have a number of causes. Among the elderly population, falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries at 51 percent. One factor that could influence the high number of elderly brain injuries could be that nearly 73 percent of these patients had a medical condition beforehand, compared with only 28 percent of younger adults.

Motor vehicle accidents, at nine percent, are the second leading cause of traumatic brain injury among the elderly population, with over 154,000 elderly adults injured in car accidents in the United States in 2002. While elderly drivers only constitute about 14.4 percent of licensed drivers, 17 percent of drivers killed in car accidents were elderly. By 2020, 30 percent of drivers will be aged 55 or older, which could lead to a larger number of car accident deaths among the elderly population.

Being older is a known negative influence on the outcome of the patient after a traumatic brain injury. The fact that there is an absence of good clinical data also has a negative influence on predicting the outcomes of a traumatic brain injury in an elderly person and developing a successful treatment plan.

What If I Suffer a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic brain injury has been termed the “silent epidemic” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those who suffer from it may not immediately experience symptoms, or may not fully understand that they are experiencing problems related to brain trauma. Traumatic brain injuries, especially among the elderly population, can lead to high medical costs, long recovery periods, potential permanent damage and pain and suffering.
However, those who have been injured due to the negligence of another can seek compensation for damages. Those who are considering this option should seek the experienced legal counsel of the personal injury lawyers at Barber and Associates, LLC in Anchorage, Alaska. With extensive experience aiding those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury, Barber and Associates, LLC can help you with your case. Call today for a free initial consultation.

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