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What is brain injury?

Headway Black Country supports adults with all forms of acquired brain injury (ABI).

Acquired brain injury (ABI) covers all situations in which brain injury has occurred since birth, and includes traumatic brain injury (TBI) as well as tumour, stroke, brain haemorrhage and encephalitis, to name a few.

Our brain is the part of our body that determines everything about us - what we think, what we do and who we are. Yet it can be damaged very easily. The brain is protected only by the bone of our skull, and may be injured even when there is no obvious external damage to the head.

Each year as many as 1 million people attending hospital in the UK will have a head injury. Of these, about 135,000 are confirmed as having an injury to the brain as a result and are admitted to hospital.

Those most at risk are people in the 15-29 age group, particularly men.

In around 85% of cases the brain injury is classed as mild, with the person losing consciousness for 15 minutes or less. Although a full recovery is usually made in 3 to 6 months, sometimes people with a minor brain injury experience longer-term problems.

In around 5% of cases, the person loses consciousness for over 6 hours and the injury is classed as severe. People with severe injuries are likely to have complicated, long-lasting problems and need long-term rehabilitation.

The problems resulting from brain injury may not be obvious to other people. Because of this it is often referred to as a 'hidden disability'. Brain injury can, however, completely change the lives of the person with the brain injury and those around them.

Two interesting articles looking at the effects of brain injury from personal experience:-

Radio 4 - My Head

What's Going On In His Head

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Headway Black Country:
Registered charity No: 1089171

A Company Limited by Guarantee Registered in England & Wales: No: 4001321

Affiliated to Headway - the brain injury association, a registered charity.

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