Traumatic Brain Injury

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 Sports Concussion Law

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.

Rhode Island TBI Registry

Since 2007, Rhode Island law mandates a Traumatic Brain Injury Registryof traumatic brain injuries diagnosed in the emergency department or in an inpatient unit. Hospitals are mandated to provide information to the Department of Health on all individuals with brain injury within 14 days of diagnosis.

Analysis of the Registry data allows staff to pinpoint where and how injuries are occurring, what age groups are affected, and enables the development of programs to prevent injuries.