Tag Archives: traumatic brain injury

The 2015 Traumatic Brain Injury Conference

The 2015 Traumatic Brain Injury Conference is a one day conference hosted by UHN’s Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. The conference will cover all ranges of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). This event is for healthcare practitioners who contend with traumatic brain injury in their practice: physicians, therapists, nurses, social workers, program service managers, researchers and service providers from rehabilitation, insurance and legal organizations.

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Designating Traumatic Brain Injuries

As the phrase implies, “Traumatic Brain Injury” (“TBI”) refers to damage to a person’s brain as a result of trauma. TBIs have become a pervasive feature of the Canadian social landscape. Where, 30 years ago, certain kinds of trauma to a person’s head would have been fatal, medical advancements now result in more people surviving. This, in turn, means that an increased number of Canadians live with the ongoing effects of a TBI.

The symptoms of TBIs present on a spectrum – anywhere from mild and short-lasting on one end to severe and permanent on the other end. Continue reading

Paediatric Brain Injuries: Early Diagnosis & Rehabilitation is the Key to a Successful Future

A child or adolescent can suffer a mild, moderate or even a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) from numerous activities in their everyday lives. Some common causes for children include bicycle accidents, motor vehicle collisions, accidents in recreational sports and even accidents on playground equipment.

Given these common causes, it should come as no surprise that children and adolescents are some of the most at risk populations for sustaining a TBI. In fact, children under the age of 15 have a 1 in 5 chance of sustaining some form of TBI, and over 3% of hospital admissions are attributed to TBI alone. Children under the age of 5 are at an even greater risk due to their higher propensity for falls. Continue reading

Guidelines targeted at long-lasting concussion symptoms

New guidelines reporting symptoms and treatment of post-concussion syndrome have been released which represent a positive step towards determining the effects of concussion, John McLeish, Partner of McLeish Orlando talks to Advocate Daily about what this means for diagnosis and treatment of post-concussion syndrome .

Click here to read the article on Advocate Daily.

Study highlights need for brain injury awareness

As seen on AdvocateDaily.com

Brain injuries are occurring at an alarming rate among Ontario teenagers, a new study has found, making education and awareness on the effects of a blow to the head crucial for parents, says Toronto critical injury lawyer Dale Orlando.

“I think there’s a common misconception where people talk about a concussion without understanding that a concussion is considered to be a brain injury,” says Orlando, partner with McLeish Orlando LLP. “A concussion, by definition, is a mild or moderate brain injury.”

The study found that one in five teens in Ontario has had a concussion or another brain injury in their lifetime that was serious enough to leave them unconscious for five minutes or to send them to hospital overnight, CTV reports.

As well, a total of 5.6 per cent reported they had had a concussion or significant brain injury in the past year, it adds.

“Statically, the majority of people who suffer mild traumatic brain injuries go on to have full symptom resolution, but there is a percentage that have significant ongoing difficulties as a result of their mild traumatic brain injury,” says Orlando. “But even for the people that do go on to have a good recovery and are symptom free, they become much more vulnerable to more significant impairments if they suffer a second head injury.”

The study used data from the 2011 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey, CTV reports, noting it used responses from almost 9,000 students from Grades 7-12.

The survey found that the majority of traumatic brain injuries for the teens occurred during sports: 47 per cent for girls and 63.5 per cent for boys, with hockey and soccer accounting for more than half the injuries, the report says.

“I think as parents we have to be hyper vigilant and aware that a concussion isn’t just a minor thing like a scrape or a bruise that happens through the course of childhood that isn’t a big deal,” says Orlando.

“Many Canadian boys and girls grow up chasing the dream of making a living playing hockey, but Peewee games and Bantam games – they’re not the NHL,” he says. “Rules regarding hits to the head should be stringently enforced. Any hit directed to the head should have serious consequences for the person delivering the hit. Hitting from behind, driving somebody’s head into the boards … the penalty should be increased to eliminate it from the sport.”

On the soccer field, Orlando says it’s common to see injuries from regular activities, like heading the ball.

“That may not be appropriate for children of a certain age,” he says.

Orlando says while improvements have been made in sporting rules, more can be done to prevent serious injury.

“I think we’ve come a long way from the days of somebody suffering a concussion and having the coach say ‘Get back out there for your next shift.’ There are practices and protocols in place,” he says. “Parents have to recognize that a concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury and the restrictions associated with return to play are there for a reason.”

The Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation releases “Guidelines for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Persistent Symptoms”

The majority of people who suffer mild traumatic brain injury recover within three months. However, up to 10 to 15 percent of people who suffer mild traumatic brain injury continue to have symptoms three months later. Research has shown that early diagnosis and management of mild traumatic brain injury greatly improves a patient’s outcome and reduces the impact of persistent symptoms.

Unfortunately, until now there have been no standardized guidelines that doctors or healthcare providers in Ontario could use to identify mild traumatic brain injuries early on or to treat individuals who suffer persistent symptoms following mild TBI.  To respond to this concern, the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation appointed a team of medical experts, doctors, healthcare providers, and mild traumatic brain injury survivors from across Ontario, Canada and outside the country. The team reviewed and vetted relevant clinical guidelines published in the last 10 years, and consolidated this information into one standardized guideline. The results of this process are the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation’s Guidelines for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Persistent Symptoms.

These guidelines will improve patient care by providing healthcare professionals with uniform, evidence based, best practice recommendations to effectively identify and treat individuals who suffer persistent symptoms following mild TBI. As part of Brain Injury Awareness Week, McLeish Orlando commends the work of the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation and the project members who contributed to these guidelines in order to improve the care and quality of life for individuals living with the potentially devastating effects of mild traumatic brain injury.

Click here to read a brief summary of the guidelines for assessment and management in each of the 13 areas listed in the guidelines.