Is a concussion the same as a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) ?

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers David Hollingsworth:  Is a concussion the same as a mild traumatic brain injury   (TBI) ?

This is a common question.  Most people believe that a concussion isn’t as serious and  symptoms will come and go quickly; whereas a mild traumatic brain injury is more severe and lasts longer. The truth is they are known as the same in that a concussion and a mild traumatic brain injury have same symptoms and can last a couple of days but may also extend and last a couple of years. Most people  recover from a concussion within a relatively short period of time; typically it ranges from a week to 3 months.  Concussions can also happen to anyone old or young and can result from all sorts of different activities including sports, falls, blows to the head etc..

We don’t know everything about concussions or mild traumatic brain injuries but we do know that the brain is made up of soft tissue and is surrounded by spinal fluid. The brain is protected (to some extent) by the skull. Inside the skull, the brain  moves about , sometimes hitting the skull. When the brain hits the inside of the skull it can become bruised, and may result in broken blood vessels, which results in injured  nerves and may lead to a concussion.

There are many ways  to grade or describe concussions or mild traumatic brain injuries. The severity of a concussion is determined by how long signs and symptoms last and so can only be known after someone has recovered. The longer the symptoms of changes in brain function, the more severe the concussion.

What causes the most confusion is the word “mild”. A mild traumatic brain injury can be anything but that. Up to 20% of people who suffer from a concussion suffer symptoms beyond the 3 month mark.  Everyone reacts differently to a concussion or MTBI ; however some common symptoms include:

  • post-traumatic headache
  • difficulty sleeping
  • problems with balance
  • dizziness
  • cognitive impairments
  • extreme fatigue
  • depression
  • anxiety

Often times, people with a concussion or mild traumatic brain injury seem perfectly fine ; however they are severely suffering on the inside and are unable to participate in everyday activities.   Often times people with a concussion or mTBI are unable to work, be social or participate in many day-to-day activities they once loved doing.

When it comes to children and concussions , it gets even trickier, as children often are not in tune with their symptoms and may not be communicating their symptoms. A child with an undiagnosed concussion can be at serious risk for brain damage or a disability. If a child sustains a head injury, it must be taken seriously.  In sports in particular, a doctor needs to examine the child and decide when it would be best to have the child return to sports. Regardless of whether or not the child lost consciousness or not, it’s vital that parents, caregivers and coaches are on high alert and watching  for symptoms. Head injuries take time to heal..Don’t rush it.

When it comes to concussions and mild traumatic brain injuries, we must be extra vigilant.  As an Ottawa injury lawyer, I meet regularly with people whose lives have been turned upside down due to a head injury. For some , life may never be the same again. For more information on head injuries, concussions and mild traumatic brain injuries , visit www.ottawainjury.ca/brain-injuries.

 

 


Concussion symptoms and treatment for concussions. Did you know a concussion can last for up to 2 years ?

Ottawa Brain Injury Lawyers David Hollingsworth  .

The Ottawa Citizen reported on a study recently done through CHEO and Dr Vassilyadi that looked at the after effects of concussions in children.  It described a story of a  boy named Clayton Carter who suffered a traumatic brain injury while riding an ATV and was able to return to hockey, school and a regular life within four months.  There are many remarkable things about Clayton’s story. Firstly the fact that he was so severely injured and could have died and was then  rushed by helicopter to CHEO and had his brain and skull operated on.  He survived and had an amazing recovery in a very short time frame.  Claydon’s speedy recovery with a severe head injury is remarkable.

Dr. Vassilyadi reported to the Ottawa Citizen that Clayton’s recovery was better than many children who suffer a concussion. Dr Vassilyadi is just finishing a study that looks at youths between  11 and 17 who have had a sports-related concussion and still have symptoms at least three months later. In the Ottawa area there have been close to 60 patients who are still suffering from their concussion 3 months later.

There are many more who suffer concussions. In fact, close to 900 children and youth are rushed to  CHEO’s emergency department yearly with a suspected concussion. These symptoms include headaches, dizziness, nausea, depression, sleeping too much or not enough and declining performance at school. In general, close to 90 % of concussions clear up within  10 days of the impact. Dr. Vassilyadi and his team at CHEO noted that not all parents are aware of the symptoms of concussions, so it’s tough to track what your child may be going through. Often times, parents, coaches and teachers don’t equate a child’s change in academic performance to a concussion but Dr. Vassilyadi noted that it’s entirely possible. The emotional, social and cognitive symptoms are tough to  pick up on and often persist over three months for up to 2 years. CHEO conducted a research project last year “The Concussion Research Project” and found that young patients described their quality of life at almost the same level as undergoing chemotherapy. Dr. Vassilyadi also noted that there is a common misconception that there has to be a loss of consciousness in a concussion and this is simply not true. Early recognition is key to properly treating a concussion.

Unfortunately the treatment for a concussion isn’t always obvious either. Nutrition and rehydration are critical and in most rest, even if that means not returning to school or work. After a head injury, the brain needs to rest and mental stress needs to be avoided. This means eliminating video games, television, reading, texting and getting plenty of rest.

Concussion symptoms and concussion treatments are very tough to recognize which is why concussions still remain a tricky area for parents, coaches and teachers. It’s critically important to be aware of your child’s moods, fatigue, and overall feelings and “When in doubt, sit them out,”. It’s not worth the risk because a second or third head injury will be worse. Dr. Vassilyadi is speaking to physicians on Monday night about a new clinic to be opened this fall by Pro Physio & Sports Medicine Centres, which will draw on the services of sports physicians, a neuropsychologist and physiotherapists specifically trained to assess and treat concussions. The owner of the clinics, Mr. Salib focused on concussions because of the large need to properly treat concussions .

As an Ottawa personal injury lawyer with many clients who are suffering from concussions and brain injuries, I am so thankful that our community is developing more resources that relate to concussions and head injuries. I have many clients who are suffering so severely from a concussion, they are unable to return to work, be comfortable around their families for extended lengths of time and their concussion has changed their lives and the lives of their families.  The more research and resources that help us with concussion treatments the better, I say !

 


Lead by example. Do you wear a helmet or do you just make your kids wear one?

Child Head Injury

Please practice what you preach. Helmets might not always be the “coolest” or “most comfortable” option but they are absolutely the smartest option. I’m so pleased with this initiative. The Ottawa Public Health and CHEO have joined forces to promote the use of helmets during winter activities. Ottawa’s neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Vassilyadi attended the family day event at Ottawa’s city hall family day skating party to talk to parents to lead by example and wear their helmets !

Dr. Vassilyadi talked about how parents need to lead by example and how they are ambassadors and that kids look up to their parents and copy what they do.  I couldn’t agree more. We need to practice what we preach.

Dr. Vassilyadi also spoke about how  more families are taking the necessary precautions and wearing helmets for winter activities, such as skating and tobogganing. Dr. Vassilyadi also stated that there has been a decline in preventable head injuries in the Ottawa area, stating that there hadn’t been one surgical head injury until mid-January this season.

While one is too many at least we are moving in the right direction. I hope these messages reach others and before we know it wearing a helmet for winter activities will be an automatic response for everyone. Lead by example and put your helmet on ! If not for you, do it for your children. Kids watch their parents all the time and want to be the same. This is an easy way to install smart, safe decisions with your children. The ideal would be that we all get to a point where we don’t even think about it and we wear our helmets anytime we are participating in an activity that has a higher risk for head injuries. 

Do your part in avoiding head injuries .

 


Ottawa Brain Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth – what are the signs of a brain injury ?

Ottawa Brain Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth…www.ottawainjury.ca . Brain injuries can happen in an instant and are life-altering. A brain injury is one of the most complex personal injuries as they are an “invisible” injury and impact not only the person with a brain injury, but their friends and family as well.
Brain injuries are not just a result of car accidents, they call also result from severe head blows, falls, trips or just about any activity where someone could hit their head.
Typical signs of a brain injury are :
Numbness , excessive drowsiness, severe headaches, arm or leg weakness, dizziness, loss of vision, slurred speech, loss of consciousness, nausea, or vomiting.
March is brain injury awareness month. Please support your local brain injury association.
— The Ottawa injury lawyer and accident blog is written regularly by Ottawa brain injury lawyer David Hollingsworth . Since 1999, David has been helping Ontario accident victims with brain injuries get the help and compensation they need. Living with a brain injury can be incredibly difficult and requires a lot of help, support and compensation. For more information on brain injuries and maximum compensation for brain injury injuries in Ontario, visit https://www.ottawainjury.ca/braininjuries.php


City of Ottawa Skating Safety : Rideau Canal conditions, Ottawa lawyer David Hollingsworth

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth…I am very happy  that Ottawa children under the age of 10 will be required to wear protective helmets during public skating sessions held in City of Ottawa  facilities  effective January 1, 2012. It is estimated that 5,700 Ottawa children receive medical treatments for personal injury in Ottawa emergency rooms, and 400 children are hospitalized, every year because of sports-related head injuries.  This is very disturbing.  We all want kids to have fun but it cannot be at the expense of their safety.  Please take all necessary safety measures when it comes to children’s safety. There are far too many serious injuries each year such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and serious orthopedic injuries.

The City of Ottawa offers the following Safe Skating Tips:

  • Wear the gear! Wearing a CSA (Canadian Standards Association), Snell or ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) approved helmet, that fits properly, will help prevent head injury. It should be worn snug,  yet comfortable. Hockey helmets are recommended over cycling helmets because they can withstand multiple impacts. Wrist guards, elbow pads and knee pads help prevent wrist fractures, and bruises on knees and elbows.
  • Choose proper fitting skates that give good support around your ankles (moulded skates are not recommended). Local sport stores should be able to help you with a proper fit. Remember, new skates must be sharpened before you go on the ice and then sharpened again each year at the start of the skating season.
  • Lace your skates all the way up. You should never wrap the laces around your ankle. If the laces are too long, tie them in a double knot so you don’t trip over them.
  • Wear only one pair of socks. Multiple pairs will make you feel colder and your skates might be too tight.
  • Wear proper clothing: gloves, neck warmer, helmet, waterproof jacket and pants (NO jeans, as they will not keep you warm and dry if they get wet), long underwear, and a sweater should do the trick.
  • Get trained! Instructors will be able to teach you the basics of skating, such as how to stop, how to fall safely, and how to get up after a fall. For lessons call 613-580-2596.
  • Choose a surface that is relatively free of bumps and cracks to allow for more control and an easier time stopping. If skating on the Rideau Canal, watch for the green flags to ensure the conditions are safe. The N.C.C.’s Rideau Canal Skateway conditions hotline is: (613) 239-5234, press 1,1
  • Watch where you are going, and always skate with the traffic. If you want to stop, head to the side so you won’t get in anyone’s way.

Avoid the following:

  • Skating on the Rideau Canal Skateway when the red flags are flying.
  • Skating too fast – this puts you and those around you at risk.
  • Playing sports unless in a designated area (ex: hockey).
  • Holding on to more than one person – this increases your chance of falling and hurting someone else.
  • Placing sharp items in your pockets (ie. keys, combs, etc.).
  • Using your toe-pick to start or stop (this will ruin the ice surface, and it won’t give the stability you need to safely start or stop), or removing bottom pick (designed to help you balance).
  • Clothing with drawstrings.

Enjoy this winter and please be safe. -Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth

 

 


Hockey : Children Brain Injury and Head Injury Concussions in children

Ottawa personal injury lawyer, Ontario personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth.  I am currently at my son’s hockey tournament in Alliston , Ontario.  These 8 year old kids are giving it their all and playing with heart.  I love watching them play hockey.  I thought it would be timely to remind everyone about hockey and concussions in children. I also wanted to remind everyone with a child is out there on the ice,  please make sure they are wearing a proper CSA approved helmet, not just the helmet that is lying around in the garage. Most of all,play safe and have fun….

Hockey is one of Canada’s most popular sports, with over 520,000 players registered in the Canadian Hockey Association (CHA) for the 2000-2001 season. The incidence of hockey-related injuries amongst children between the ages of 9 to 14 leading to emergency department visits more than doubled between since 1990.The injury incidence among teens aged 15 to 18 didn’t increase as much as that of younger children, but still grew 85 % during the same time period.

 

Where do injuries most often occur?  
 

42% – head and face   

27% – upper body
31% – lower body

Who gets injured?

 Defense 33% Forwards 63% Goalie 4%. 

The Children’s hospital of Eastern Ontario’s website is an excellent resource for signs and symptoms of concussions.  The following inforamation is from this site: Concussions can cause a variety of symptoms, which can appear several hours after the incident. Signs and symptoms of a concussion include:

  • Confusion (your child might not know where he is or the period of the game)
  • Memory problems (forgetting what happened before or after the injury)
  • Loss of consciousness (being “knocked out”)
  • Headache
  • Dizziness/feeling dazed
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Vision problems/staring blankly/seeing stars
  • Slurred speech
  • Unusual emotions, personality change, inappropriate behaviour

There are different kinds of concussions and some may be more serious than others.

Simple concussions

  • Symptoms last less than 15 minutes after the injury.
  • Child/teen should not return to playing hockey or other sports for at least one week.

Complex concussions
 Symptoms last longer than 15 minutes after the injury.

  • Symptoms return with exercise.
  • The child/teen has been knocked out.
  • Longer recovery time. Several weeks or even months before returning to playing hockey or other sports.

Again, enjoy hockey ! It is a wonderful sport.  Please be safe out there and parents be on the look out if your child does fall or you suspect they have hit their head.

———————- The  Ottawa Injury Blog is written regularly by Ottawa personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth. Since 1999, David has been an Ottawa personal injury lawyer representing Ottawa accident victims and the families of accident victims who have lost a loved one in an Ontario accident, including snowmobile accidents. This blog reports on accidents in eastern Ontario, personal injury issues, local Ottawa news and events and various news that relates to Ottawa, accidents and personal injury.  Visit www.ottawainjury.ca for more information. If you have a question, feel free to call or email david@ottawainjury.ca (613) 978-9549

Hockey and brain injury in children, children head injury, Ottawa personal injury lawyer


Ontario Brain Injury , Ottawa Head Injury Lawyer David Hollingsworth

Ottawa Head Injury Lawyer, Ontario Head Injury Lawyers: As an eastern Ontario brain injury lawyer, I continue to be shocked at the brain injury statistics that come out each year as most brain injuries are preventable. A Brain Injury is an invisible personal injury, unlike a cut or a bruise. A brain injury is a catastrophic injury and trauma to the brain is not visible. Often times  victims of a brain injury or head injury appear to be uninjured and go about their lives. However; often times someone with a brain injury is suffering and is not showing it. Typically friends, family members, co-workers and employers start to notice small changes…The incidence of brain injury is high in Canada:

Head injury from trauma  occurs every 500 out of 100,000 individuals yearly.

Head Injury outnumbers  breast cancer, spinal cord injury and HIV/AIDS. headinjury

It is estimated that there are some 27,000 children with Acquired Brain Injuries in Ontario schools.

  • people who wear helmets suffer fewer head injury rates (an average of 25% lower) .
  • Bicycle injuries are one of the leading causes of injury for children ages 10-14 years old, and traumatic brain injuries account for close to one third (29%) of all cycling-related hospital admissions.
  • Research shows that 20% of people in psychiatric settings appear to have a history of brain injury.
  • Helmets use reduces head injury by 88%.

Each year, 50,000 Canadians suffer an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). In Ontario, 44 people sustain a brain injury daily.

  • Close to 500 000 people in Ontario are living with an acquired brain injury.

795 children out of 100,000 individuals suffer a brain injury each year

456 people suffer a brain injury daily in Canada — this amounts to one person injured every 3 minutes.

Most head injury occur in males aged 16 to 24.

Brain injury from trauma is the greatest killer under the age of 45;

The greatest cause of disability under 44;

and kills more children under 20 than all other causes combined

As an Ontario head injury lawyer and one of the top Ottawa brain injury lawyers, I urge everyone out there to slow down, buckle up, put a helmet on ,be alert and be safe out there.  A brain injury is life altering and can happen to anyone in an instant.