A new brain injury occurs every 15 minutes in New Zealand, far surpassing the number of heart attacks and more than five times the number of new strokes. The estimated cost on the health system is $100 million a year, but it is expected that this figure will rise significantly. Brain injuries, including stroke and traumatic brain injury, is the leading cause of disability and death in New Zealand. However, the real cost in terms of rehabilitation, family impact and far reaching social implications for people whose head injury lasts a lifetime, is incalculable.
The BIONIC (Brain Injury Outcomes NZ in the Community) study published in The Lancet 22 November 2012
WHAT IS TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY?
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is caused by impact to the head which in turn causes damage to the brain. TBI can happen at the time of impact or later on. The injury may be confined to one area of the brain or it can involve several areas of the brain. There are three ways the brain is injured:
- Bruising and bleeding – the brain is thrown against the front and back of the skull which causes bruising and/or bleeding.
- Swelling – if there is swelling in the brain pressure begins to build up and damages structures in the brain.
- Tearing, shearing and twisting – when tearing occurs the connections between various parts can be sheared and twisted.
- The most common causes of brain injury are car or bike accidents, sports, falls or assaults. Brain injuries, especially mild brain injuries, may not be evident at first. Even if a brain injury is considered “mild”, it can still have a major impact on all areas of your life.
A CONCUSSION IS A BRAIN INJURY – you do not need to lose consciousness to sustain a concussion.
WE PROVIDE THE FOLLOWING:
Advocacy on behalf of clients with ACC, Work and Income, Housing NZ, Probation, Correction Services, medical consultations and assessments, court and other social services;
On-going client and family support;
Provision of relevant information including quarterly newsletters;
Awareness and prevention through regular expos, displays, events and presentations;
Support group meetings;
‘Living with a Brain Injury’ seminars;
Brain Injury Awareness month in June;
Community Educational workshops in collaboration with Healthcare Rehabilitation Ltd;
BRAIN INJURY DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE – ANYTIME – ANYWHERE
TYPES OF HEAD INJURY
CLOSED HEAD INJURY
A closed head injury occurs when the head is struck but the skull is not penetrated or fractured. This can still cause someone to lose consciousness and the brain can be seriously damaged. Concussion is one example of a closed head injury.
OPEN HEAD INJURY
Open head injuries occur when the skull has been broken and the brain exposed. This may damage the brain tissue immediately below the fracture causing loss of consciousness and damage to a larger area of the brain than closed head injuries.
MINOR HEAD INJURY
A minor head injury may occur if the head is moved violently or struck. Hospitalisation may not be necessary and sometimes there is no loss of consciousness. Even so, some people experience behavioural and cognitive problems, which can interfere with their lives as a result. It is important to get information to understand the possible effects this may have on you.
POST CONCUSSIONAL SYNDROME
Symptoms such as headache, dizziness, deafness, ringing in the ears, memory impairment and short attention span may occur after a minor head injury. These symptoms vary from person to person but are known as ‘Post Concussional Syndrome’. Explanation and advice should be sought from your local doctor who may refer you to a neurologist.
BRAIN INJURIES MAY CAUSE SOME OF THESE SYMPTOMS:
- Memory loss
- Social isolation
- Loss of independence
- Frustration Poor concentration
- Attention difficulties
- Disrupted sleep patterns
- Mood swings
- Communication difficulties Confusion
- Physical/mobility problems
- Sensory disruption
- Learning difficulties
- Speech difficulties
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is a world-class, living e-resource. It archives all published literature on psychological treatments for people with chronic diseases and disorders from acquired brain impairment and is updated monthly. Launched in 2004, PsycBITE continuously updates the literature and currently archives 4,000 empirical papers rated for methodological quality. http://www.psycbite.com