Brain Damage: An Invisible Injury?

 

Every 90 seconds someone in the UK suffers a brain injury. Most people make a full recovery but even minor injuries can cause long-term problems, and serious injuries can be devastating for patients and their families. This week is the charity Cerebra‘s Head Awareness Week, and they are hoping to raise awareness of the work they do, helping families with brain injured children to overcome the challenges that they face.

Brain damage can cause changes in personality and behaviour, speech problems, poor concentration and memory and difficulty walking.

Unfortunately these injuries can be invisible to other people. Research in the USA has suggested that half of all homeless people have a traumatic brain injury. This includes people who have had a blow to the head from an assault or accident, and others who have damage from strokes, brain tumours, dementia and damage for substance and alcohol abuse. In fact when dementia, substance and alcohol abuse are taken into account, the figure is more than half. With children, complications involving giving birth can cause delays, and if that stops oxygen getting to the brain, the end result can be cerebral palsy.

An interesting scheme recently being piloted by Headway is the introduction of a Brain Injury Identity Card. This is an identity card with photographic ID which says, ‘I may have slurred speech or an unsteady walking style. I may find it difficult processing information and communicating. I may have poor memory. My behaviour may sometimes appear to be erratic.’ People report having found it useful in all sorts of situations, such as buying things in shops and dealing with the police.

At Enable Law, we believe in improving the lives of people with brain injuries, which is why we work with Cerebra, Headway, the Child Brain Injury Trust, Brain Injury Group and UKABIF. Look for @enablelaw today on Twitter using the hashtag #cerebraheadaware, and if you or family member have a brain injury that you think was the result of negligence, call us now on 08000 448488 for a free, no obligation discussion.