Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Not all blows or jolts to the head result in a traumatic brain injury. The severity of a traumatic brain injury may range from mild (a brief change in mental status or consciousness) to severe (an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia) after the injury.
Healthcare professionals sometimes describe a concussion as a “mild” brain injury because concussions are usually not life-threatening. Even so, their effects can be serious.
The two most common symptoms of a concussion are confusion and amnesia. Other symptoms can include headache, ringing in ears, vomiting, slurred speech, or fatigue. If you have been hit in the head and have any of these symptoms you should contact your healthcare provider immediately. more
Rhode Island law requires all school coaches, paid and volunteer, to take concussion-awareness training. The training is available free online and takes about 30 minutes to complete. more Coaches are also required to remove any player from a game or practice who exhibits signs or symptoms of a concussion, and that player must obtain written medical authorization by a licensed physician before being allowed to return to play. Supplemental educational and training materials are available for school districts.
Since 2007, Rhode Island law mandates a Traumatic Brain Injury Registry of traumatic brain injuries diagnosed in the emergency department or in an inpatient unit. Cases must be reported to the Department of Health within 14 days of diagnosis.
All traumatic brain injury survivors are sent an informational packet from the Rhode Island Department of Health.