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Brain Drain theme for this year's Action for Brain Injury Week

View profile for Dan Thompson
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One of the most commonly experienced effects of brain injury is the focus of this year’s Action for Brain Injury Week, which runs this week from 20th May to 26th May.  Each year a different theme is chosen by Headway who organise the campaign, and throughout this week they are raising awareness of the impact fatigue, or excessive tiredness, can have on the every day lives of those who have sustained a brain injury.  Dan Thompson, Personal Injury Partner, explains here why the week is so important in raising awareness of the symptoms and the steps to take should you or a loved one need support.

What is an acquired brain injury?

An acquired brain injury is most commonly referred to as being caused by an infection, stroke or a tumour; however it does also include traumatic brain injuries which are caused as a result of a blow to the head. 

Recent research has shown an increase in the number of hospital admissions due to acquired brain injuries in the last 10 years.  “According to figures from Headway, there were 348,453 admissions to hospital due to an acquired brain injury in 2016-17,” explains Dan.  “This has increased by 10% since 2005-6 and worryingly equates to one admission every 90 seconds.  Further research from Headway shows that in 2013, there were approximately 1 million people living with the long term effects of a brain injury in the UK, and this figure is only likely to have increased since then.”

Action for Brain Injury Week

Each year, the week has had significant success in raising awareness of different factors surrounding brain injuries.  Last year, the theme was “You, Me and Brain Injury”, with a focus on highlighting that a brain injury will not only have an impact on the person concerned, but also on their friends, family and the other relationships in their lives.

“Fatigue is the most commonly cited effect of brain injury reported by the 11,000 callers to Headway’s helpline,” explains Dan.  “A person who has sustained a brain injury may be experiencing fatigue either due to the direct damage caused to the brain or because of the general toll the injury is taking on their day to day life.  Either way, Headway has produced a useful guide with eight strategies on how to help, which they are promoting during Action for Brain Injury Week this year.”

The eight strategies from Headway include:

  • being aware of the impact your mood has on your activities,
  • planning your activities throughout the week so as not to overly exert yourself,
  • adopting a regular sleep routine,
  • to do exercise where possible,
  • drinking enough water and eat the right foods,
  • considering your medication,
  • reviewing the environment you live and work,
  • adopting ways to improve your cognitive thinking. 

“Brain injury related fatigue will have a huge impact on the person’s quality of life,” explains Dan.  “Not only will the fatigue potentially be slowing down their recovery, but it can also impact their mental health as they are not recovering at the rate they wish.  That’s why Headway’s eight strategies tackle fatigue and strive to enlighten others as to how they can support their loved ones.”

Dan concludes, “We have helped many people over the years rebuild their lives following a brain injury, and appreciate the frustrations and concerns you will be having.  Obtaining the right level of support for your own circumstances will be crucial in your recovery.  For this type of serious injury, it is likely that that you will need medical procedures, regular appointments requiring time off work, if you have been able to return to work, rehabilitation as well as possible counselling to help you and your family come to terms with what has happened.  We can support you in not only claiming compensation, but can assist in co-ordinating the necessary treatment with medical professionals to support in your recovery.”

If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury and you’d like to discuss your options, you can contact Dan on 0800 91 92 30, email injuryteam@warnergoodman.co.uk or click here.  To find out more about Action for Brain Injury Week, you can visit their website or social media, using the hashtag #ABIWeek.  You can also find out more about Headway’s eight strategies by visiting their website here.

ENDS

This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice.  All content was correct at the time of publishing and we cannot be held responsible for any changes that may invalidate this article.