Traumatic brain injury (TBI) may substantially increase the risk of suicide, according to a new study outlined in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). According to the study, which utilized the Danish Cause of Death registry, of the approximately 7.5 million people living in Denmark, death by suicide occurred among more than 34,500 between 1980 and 2014. As well, about 1 in 10 of those who took their own lives had previously suffered a TBI.
Factors predicting the risk of suicide
Trine Madsen, one of the prime authors of the study, stated that the suicide risk increased by 81 percent among individuals who had experienced mild TBI, including concussions. Persons with even more severe brain injuries had an elevated suicide risk, equivalent to twice that of an individual with no prior brain injury. The risk of suicide in individuals was predictable by three definitive factors:
- Severity of the brain injury
- Receiving an initial brain injury as a young adult
- Discharge from the hospital for brain injury in the previous six months
The study also suggests the risk is present in those who have sustained a TBI in childhood.
Of those without a history of traumatic brain injury, the suicide rate was 20 in 100,000 persons per year. This is compared to 41 in 100,000 persons per year among those having sustained a brain injury. Trauma to the brain can severely impact the brain’s ability to function properly, which may lead to mental complications and increase an individual’s risk for suicide.
The authors of the study indicate their estimations are most likely conservative due to the fact that mild TBIs, including concussions, were by and large undiagnosed prior to the mid-1990s. As well, many people who were injured playing contact sports such as hockey and football never received treatment for their injuries.
Potentially life-altering head injuries
Many of the most frequent causes of TBI injuries include:
- Auto accidents
- Participation in contact sports and activities (i.e. football, hockey)
- Acts of violence
Mild TBIs, such as concussions, can potentially result in lifelong health complications, including a reduction in cognitive performance.
If you have sustained an injury to the head, regardless of what action or activity caused the injury, it is vital to receive medical care and treatment as quickly as possible. Maintaining follow-up care is also crucial. In the worst cases, brain injuries can significantly debilitate an individual’s quality of life over the long-term.
If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of the negligence of another person or entity, such as a careless driver on the road, you have the right to file a personal injury claim against the other party in order to secure financial recovery for your damages. Any potential settlement may help you pay for your losses, including medical expenses and lost wages. If we cannot reach a fair settlement, we are always prepared to take your case to trial, and fight for your future.
At Crandall & Pera Law, we offer aggressive and intelligent representation with the goal of helping you secure the compensation you deserve in the aftermath of a traumatic brain injury. To discuss your case with a compassionate attorney from our team on a free, no obligation basis, call our Kentucky or Ohio law office today at 877-686-8879, or use our contact form to send us a request.