Think With Your Head and Protect Your Brain



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-- WITH PHOTO -- TO HEALTH, MEDICAL, AND NATIONAL EDITORS:

Think With Your Head and Protect Your Brain

WASHINGTON, March 5, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An estimated 1.7

million traumatic brain injury-related hospitalizations and emergency

visits occur each year in the United States, according to the Centers

for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). With March being Brain

Injury Awareness Month, the nation's emergency physicians want to

promote good head health.

"Sadly, you can't prevent every brain injury from occurring," said Dr.

Alex Rosenau, president of the American College of Emergency

Physicians. "But the number of patients we treat who are suffering

from injuries that were preventable is alarming."

About 52,000 in the United States die each year because of traumatic

brain injury - another 80,000 to 90,000 deal with a long term

disability.

The severity of a brain injury can vary from "mild" to "severe."

Nearly 80 percent of people are treated and released from an emergency

department, according to the CDC.

Traumatic brain injury can be caused by a number of events. More than

35 percent of these injuries are caused by falls, 21 percent are

miscellaneous accidents and more than 17 percent are caused by motor

vehicle or traffic crashes.

Traumatic brain injury has been getting a significant amount of

attention in recent years because of current and former NFL players

who say hard hits to their heads and repeated concussions throughout

their playing careers have caused them to have life-altering symptoms

of brain injury.

One of the most common brain injuries is a concussion. Most people

recover quickly and fully, but for some, it takes longer.

Physical symptoms of a concussion may include:

-- Headache

-- Loss of consciousness

-- Blurry vision

-- Nausea or vomiting

-- Dizziness

-- Balance problems

-- Light and noise sensitivity

There are many ways to protect your brain or at least decrease the

severity of injury. Some include:

-- Always wear certified safety helmets when biking, motorcycling,

snowmobiling, skiing, skating, snowboarding, horseback riding,

sledding, rollerblading, skateboarding and many other activities that

lead your head vulnerable to hitting hard surfaces.

-- Properly wear a seatbelt at all times in a moving vehicle.

-- Two-thirds of all-terrain vehicle accidents involve children under

16. Always wear a helmet when operating them.

-- Always wear helmets when playing hard contact sports like football

and hockey.

-- Properly install a child's safety seat, have it inspected, and make

sure your child is strapped in correctly depending on their specific

age.

"Clearly the best thing you can do if you hit your head, and you're

unsure of the severity, is to come to the emergency room to get

checked out," said Dr. Rosenau. "We'd much rather see you and send you

home as opposed to seeing you and then admitting you to the hospital

for something more serious."

ACEP is the national medical specialty society representing emergency

medicine. ACEP is committed to advancing emergency care through

continuing education, research and public education. Headquartered in

Dallas, Texas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as well

as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A Government Services

Chapter represents emergency physicians employed by military branches

and other government agencies.

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100616/DC22034LOGO-d

SOURCE American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP)

-0- 03/05/2014

/CONTACT: Mike Baldyga, 202-370-9288, mbaldyga@acep.org

/Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100616/DC22034LOGO-d

PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com

/Web Site: http://www.acep.org

www.EmergencyCareForYou.org

CO: American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP)

ST: District of Columbia

IN: HEA MTC MNH

SU: SVY

PRN

-- DC77312 --

0000 03/05/2014 15:25:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com

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