Head Trauma in the Elderly
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney. There are numerous changes that people go through as they age. These changes make it easier for them to get hurt. Some of the changes that the human body goes through include:
- A loss of bone density which makes it easier to suffer fractures.
- Slower regeneration of cells following traumatic injuries.
- A longer response time when the body needs to increase its heart rate or blood pressure.
- Slower reflexes and response times to changes in the environment.
- Possible decreases in executive functioning.
- Problems with muscle strength, coordination, and balance.
These are all major problems that make it easier for older people to get hurt.
Elderly and Head Trauma: Statistics and Causes
One of the serious concerns is head trauma. Because of changes in muscle strength and balance, it is easier for the elderly to fall over. Furthermore, because they may have issues with judgment and executive functioning, it is easier for them to get taken advantage of. All of these factors make head injuries a severe problem in the elderly. According to a study recently published in the Journal of American Geriatrics:
- More than 80,000 visits to the ER every year are due to traumatic brain injuries among people 65 years or older.
- About 60 out of 100,000 people will suffer a traumatic brain injury. However, these rates more than double for the elderly.
- The leading cause of traumatic brain injuries in the elderly is slip and fall accidents.
- Auto accidents are the second most common cause of brain injuries.
- Physical assault is the third most common cause of head trauma in the elderly.
Based on these statistics, it is clear that preventative measures are necessary to protect this vulnerable population. Some of the interventions that people might consider implementing include:
Driving: Older adults can struggle behind the wheel. As they age, their reflexes start to slow, and their vision can become a problem. It is important to regularly evaluate senior citizens to ensure that they are still safe behind the wheel.
Falls: Falls are another major area of concern for elderly head trauma. Older people should regularly visit their physician to make sure that they do not need assistive devices. Examples of these devices include canes, walkers, and even wheelchairs. The devices will help them maintain their balance and reduce the chances of a devastating fall which might lead to a brain injury.
Unfortunately, not all of these injuries can be prevented. When they happen, it is essential to know what to do.
A Lawyer can be Helpful
When an older person sustains a head injury, it is important to seek medical care as quickly as possible. When it comes to brain tissue, time is everything. The faster these injuries can be diagnosed, the faster they can be treated. Once medical care has begun, it is also a good idea to meet with a Personal Injury Attorney in Sacramento. An experienced lawyer can help you review your options. A thorough investigation is necessary to make sure that no detail is overlooked.
Personal Injury Lawyers in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney. If someone in your family has sustained a severe head injury resulting from a fall or a car crash, please call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. I welcome the chance to share friendly, free advice.
I am proud to be a trial attorney in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Feel free to read about our verdicts or settlements cases.
Photo by JD Mason on Unsplash
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