Long-Term Effects of Childhood Head Injuries

The Los Angeles Times recently reported on a new study of childhood head injuries that had sobering results. The study tracked more than a million Swedes, some of whom had sustained a brain injury, including a concussion, prior to the age of 25, and some who had sustained no injuries. The findings of the study indicated that those individuals who had suffered any type of head injury in their early years were more likely to have a shorter and more difficult life than those who did not.

More specifically, young people who were treated in hospital for a single traumatic brain injury before the age of 25 were nearly twice as likely to be hospitalized for mental or psychiatric illness by the time that they reached their mid-thirties. These same individuals were 72% more likely to be unable to work and draw disability benefits. They also were 72% more likely to die before reaching the age of 36. Not only did the study compare data from these individuals, but they compared the data to that of both individuals in general and siblings who did not sustain a brain injury prior to the age of 25. Even as compared to the individual’s siblings, the individual who had one such brain injury was 57% more likely to have an in-patient psychiatric hospitalization, 49% more likely to draw disability benefits due to an inability to work, and 40% more likely to die by his or her mid-30s. Additionally, even after taking family circumstances into account, these individuals were more likely to fail to complete high school and/or receive welfare payments.

The study followed over 100,000 Swedes who were diagnosed and suffered a brain injury prior to age 25, as well as a total of over one million individuals. About 77% of these injuries were categorized as mild traumatic brain injuries, or concussions. The results of this study are particularly alarming in light of the fact that in 2009, almost a quarter-million U.S. children under the age of 19 were diagnosed with and treated in hospitals for head injuries related to sports and recreational activities. These figures represent a 57% increase over an eight-year period.

As this post indicates, head injuries can have a significant impact on an accident victim’s life for years to come. Therefore, you must take steps to ensure that your head injury is properly documented and that you receive all of the compensation to which you are entitled when you have suffered a head injury due to another’s negligence. For more information about how to properly handle your personal injury claim, contact the Wisconsin personal injury lawyers of Boller & Vaughan today.