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The rise in head injuries: Are you at risk?

Head and brain injuries can change your life forever. Many incidents are fatal, of course, as these are some of the most traumatic injuries workers can experience on the job. Even those who pull through, however, may deal with serious life changes, such as disabilities.

Who is most at risk? Almost every job has some level of risk, but those who work at heights, those who work with heavy machinery and those who drive for a living have some of the greatest risks to face on a daily basis. A fall, an entanglement with a machine or a car accident can all lead to head and brain injuries in a matter of seconds.

Plus, some leading experts note that the amount of head injuries in the United States has alarmingly been rising in recent years. Neurologists at Columbia University put the current rate at about 1.7 million new traumatic brain injuries. They also note that it costs roughly $56 billion every year to take care of the millions of people who are living with the symptoms of a previous brain injury.

Losing consciousness

Sometimes, people think they have not suffered a serious injury when they actually have. They try to shake it off and refuse to seek medical attention, even though the best course of action would be to see the doctor right away.

For instance, perhaps you fell from a ladder at work, on a construction site. You landed on your back, blacked out and woke up with other workers standing around you.

You only lost consciousness for a few seconds at most. People are still gathering. No one even called 911 yet. You sit up and your head swims, but you think you can clear it by closing your eyes and resting for a few minutes.

That's a very dangerous decision to make. Any time that you lose consciousness, it's a serious indicator that you suffered a significant head injury or a brain injury. It doesn't matter if you lost consciousness for a few seconds or until you arrived at the hospital. Take it seriously no matter what.

Other issues to watch out for include:

  • Headaches
  • Light sensitivity
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Trouble with balance
  • Irritability
  • Blurred vision

These are just a few of the symptoms you may face, and it's not a comprehensive list. Just know that you absolutely want to take this seriously and meet with medical professionals. Do not try to shake it off. That can be very hazardous to your health.

Your rights

In the wake of a significant workplace injury, you can miss time at work, lose out on wages and face high medical bills. You must know what options you have in Colorado to seek financial compensation after the accident.

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