This week (9-14 May 2016) is Action for Brain Injury Awareness Week. Here at Clarke Willmott, we specialise in brain and other catastrophic injuries after accidents and spreading the word about the impact of brain injury and the support available is a key part of our Serious Injury team’s role.
An acquired brain injury (ABI) is any brain injury that occurs after (and sometimes during) birth and not as a result of a congenital or other natural cause. Causes can vary from something as simple as a knock on the head at work, a stroke, or a catastrophic high impact accident. Every year around 1 million people attend hospital suffering from some form of head injury. A significant number of people will suffer on-going symptoms after head injury, ranging from mild, short term difficulty with memory, through to severe lifelong cognitive disability. Head, or more appropriately, brain injuries are put into different categories. These are determined by the amount of time that has passed, when the extent of recovery or ongoing symptoms can be identified. But any injury can have an effect which can be life changing.
A great deal of help can be available to victims, either through compensation following an accident, which can obtained through our specialist lawyers, or through support provided by friends and families and specialist ABI charities.
This year, Headway is using Action for Brain Injury Awareness Week to make people “concussion aware”; targeting those playing high impact sports and providing them with information and resources to try and reduce the number of people acquiring brain injury whilst enjoying sport. This includes their “If in doubt, sit it out” initiative; aimed at encouraging players to recognise symptoms and not put themselves at further risk by continuing to play. The importance of the issue was thrown into the public eye in September 2015 when the BBC aired a special “Panorama” programme highlighting the danger of concussion in sport. Our previous blog “Concussion and Sport – a ticking time bomb” explores this issue in more detail.
Child Brain Injury Trust is using the week to highlight the difficulties that children with brain injuries can have socialising, which can arise from being too tired to properly engage (fatigue being extremely common in brain injury victims), struggling with language and conversation which is essential for creating social networks, lack of insight into their own behaviour, or simply not being able to laugh at a joke. The Trust has published a video by a 12 year old ABI victim, who explains the struggle and frustration he faces maintaining his friendships, which can be found here.
Please take some time this week to think about ABI. Think about what you might be able to do at home and at work to either help someone with an ABI or to prevent one occurring, and act upon it. Our next blog for ABI week will explain how we are helping raise awareness and support for ABI victims.
If you have any questions about Acquired Brain Injury or wish to discuss how we can support you and your family with a serious injury claim, contact our specialist team on 0800 316 8892.