March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

Brain Injury is a leading cause of injury-related death and disability in the United States.  In Utah, over 23,000 people need medical treatment for traumatic brain injury every year.  Over 500 die.  Thousands more suffer brain injury from stroke, tumors or infectious diseases.

March is National Brain Injury Awareness Month, a month where the Brain Injury Alliance of Utah (BIAU) places even more focus on brain injury awareness and prevention and on recognizing the potential life-long challenges people with brain injury face.  BIAU Executive Director George Gehling shares, “We’re hoping to raise the awareness level of what brain injury is, how many people are suffering from the long-term effects of brain injury, and what people can do to foster prevention.”

Did you know?
Falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury, most often striking the very young and seniors.

People can reduce the risk of falls by maintaining their strength and balance through regular exercise.  Salt Lake County Senior Centers offer programs targeted at these areas.  Medicare Advantage health plans often offer fitness center discounts or subsidies as a benefit.  Consider using gates on stairways and locking windows to prevent falls.

Did you know? 
Bicycle helmets reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85%.

That’s why the Brain Injury Alliance offers bike helmets for $5.  The helmets meet Consumer Product Safety Commission standards and are available in sizes from toddler to adult.

Did you know? 
There are support groups throughout Utah offering information and comfort to people with brain injury and their families.
Survivors and family members sometimes feel isolated and alone.  Support Groups help. Visit www.biau.org for a list of support groups.

Did you know? 
The Brain Injury Alliance and partner agencies offer educational programs for schools, community organizations and human services providers addressing brain injury, brain injury treatment and prevention.

For example, “HeadSmart” is an interactive program for elementary and middle school children.  Contact the Brain Injury Alliance at info@biau.org, or 801-716-4993.

Did you know?
Recovery from brain injury can be a long and challenging road, both for the injured person and their family.

One such family has allowed the Brain Injury Alliance to follow their experiences coping with brain injury during the past several months.  We have followed Andrew, a young man who survived a devastating motorcycle accident.  You can follow the journey Andrew and his family are taking on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BIAUtah.

Did you know? 
Motor vehicle accidents are the second leading cause of traumatic brain injury in Utah.

Nearly 500 people are hospitalized or die from traumatic brain injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents.  That’s why the Brain Injury Alliance is supporting two bills in the 2015 Utah Legislature.  The first, HB 79, better enables enforcement of the State’s laws covering safety belt use.  Contact your legislators to support these bills.