Are Alabama brain injuries common?

In Alabama, 10,000 people suffer traumatic brain injuries each year for a number of reasons. The injuries could be related to sports, car accidents or medical trauma. Of the people who are injured, it's reported that 500 die and 1,500 become disabled from those brain injuries.

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation works with the Alabama Head Injury Foundation to bring awareness about these injuries to the public. The group itself is funded through federal grants and through funds for DUI convictions and other donation sources. This group is behind what is now known as Brain Injury Awareness Month, which is designated each March.

Three years ago Alabama lawmakers enacted a new statute called the Concussion Law, Act 2011-541. This law focuses on recognizing head injuries and reducing the long-term consequences of concussions through proper medical attention and management. Act 2011-541 promotes awareness of the problem of concussion in young athletes who are prone to these head injuries and mandates training for those in charge of young athletes.

Because of the law, all youth athletic organizations in Alabama have to provide information on sports concussions to families and the athletes. Coaches must be trained in the recognition and treatment of concussions, from recognizing the concussion to making sure the player stays out of games until he or she is released to play by a doctor.

Another act passed was Act 2006-623, which requires all children under the age of 15 to be appropriately restrained while traveling in most kinds of vehicles. This also helps reduce head injuries in accidents. With these new laws in place, it's hoped that the number of serious brain injuries will be reduced and treatment can be increased.

Source: Alabama Head Injury Foundation, "Welcome to AHIF" Sep. 01, 2014

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