Tampa Bay Traumatic Brain Injury And Link To Suicide

According to the Florida Department of Health, a traumatic brain injury[1] (TBI) is caused by a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. The severity of traumatic brain injuries can range from mild to severe.  In 2012, traumatic brain injuries were related to 3,798 deaths. In addition, there were another 18,922 hospitalizations for non-fatal traumatic brain injuries.

TBI Linked to Tampa Bay Suicide Risk

A new study highlights the high death toll of brain injuries that often goes unnoticed. According to the findings published in Canadian Medical Association Journal[2], adults with a history of one concussion are three times more likely to commit suicide compared to those without a history of concussion. Past research has found links between the development of depression and suicidal thoughts in those with TBI, and increased risk of suicide in veterans and football players. However, the researchers wanted to see if those findings translated to the general population.

“For years there have been examples of serious head injuries leading to potential cases of suicide in military veterans and professional athletes,” senior author Dr. Donald A. Redelmeier told Reuters[3]. “I always worried that even mild concussions acquired in normal community settings might also be a risk, and might cause lasting damage.”

Throughout the approximately nine-year follow-up period, 667 people included in the study died from suicide. The mean time between concussion and the subsequent suicide was almost six years.  When calculated, the suicide rate for those who experienced a concussion was three times higher than that of the population.  The findings highlight the need for increased screening for depression and suicidal ideation among those who have experienced brain injuries, so that professionals can intervene early.

Causes of Tampa Bay Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury is caused by a blow or other traumatic injury to the head or body. The degree of damage can depend on several factors, including the nature of the event and the force of impact.  Injury may include one or more of the following factors:

  • Damage to brain cells may be limited to the area directly below the point of impact on the skull.
  • A severe blow or jolt can cause multiple points of damage because the brain may move back and forth in the skull.
  • A severe rotational or spinning jolt can cause the tearing of cellular
  • An object penetrating the skull can cause severe, irreparable damage to brain cells, blood vessels and protective tissues around the brain.
  • Bleeding in or around the brain, swelling, and blood clots can disrupt the oxygen supply to the brain and cause wider damage.

Common events causing traumatic brain injury include the following:

  • Falling out of bed, slipping in the bath, falling down steps, falling from ladders and related falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injury overall, particularly in older adults and young children.
  • Vehicle-related collisions. Collisions involving cars, motorcycles or bicycles, and pedestrians involved in such accidents, are a common cause of traumatic brain injury.
  • Sports injuries. Traumatic brain injuries may be caused by injuries from a number of sports, including soccer, boxing, football, baseball, lacrosse, skateboarding, hockey, and other high-impact or extreme sports,    particularly in youth.
  • Explosive blasts and other combat injuries. Explosive blasts are a common cause of traumatic brain injury in active-duty military personnel. Although the mechanism of damage isn’t yet well-understood, many          researchers believe that the pressure wave passing through the brain     significantly disrupts brain function.

Contact a Tampa Bay Brain Injury Lawyer

The effects of a brain injury can be dramatic and life-long causing temporary or even permanent injuries.  Based on recent research results, a brain injury may also lead to increased depression and suicide ideation.  If you have suffered a brain injury, it is important to speak to an experienced Tampa Bay brain injury attorney. At the Dolman Law Group in Clearwater, Florida, our team of highly skilled brain injury lawyers have helped many victims obtain the recovery they deserve for their injuries and related losses including lost wages, medical expenses as well as pain and suffering. Please call our office at 727-451-6900 today.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 3375
(727) 451-6900



[1] http://www.floridahealth.gov/statistics-and-data/florida-injury-surveillance-system/_documents/data-fact-sheets/tbi-2012.pdf
[2] http://www.cmaj.ca
[3] http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-health-concussion-suicide-idUKKCN0VH1T5

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