How Civil Employees Can Identify and Manage People With Brain Injuries in an Emergency Situation

 How Civil Employees Can Identify and Manage

People With Brain Injuries in an Emergency Situation

 

Basic Facts about Brain Injury

  • In the United States every 21 seconds a person experiences a brain injury.
  • In the United States there are 1.7 million brain injuries each year, and over 5.3 million people who live with lasting aftereffects.
  • Brain injury is most prevalent among youth age 16-20 and among adults over 65.  It is also the leading cause of death and disability among 16-19 year olds.
  • Brain injury is more common that you think.

Behavioral Characteristics of Individuals With Brain Injury

  • Because brain injury is invisible, the behaviors and responses of a person with a brain injury are easily misunderstood.
  • A person with a brain injury may not have the self-awareness to explain that they have a disability.
  • Even though they are not intellectually impaired, a person with a brain injury may have trouble processing information.
  • Background noise or other distractions may make it difficult for a person with a brain injury to focus on or remember what you are saying.
  • When trying to assist a person with a brain injury in an emergency situation it is best to give directions or other information in two modes. For example, give auditory directions along with written directions.
  • If at all possible use pictures to explain what is needed from the person.
  • When overwhelmed a person with a brain injury may respond to directions or suggestions with anger or rigid thinking. A calm, non-threatening approach when trying to gain assistance and collaboration is most effective.
  • Keep directions simple. Excessive detail can create confusion and frustration.
  • Many individuals with brain injury may have trouble with balance, vision, or walking.  Stairs may present a challenge.

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