Many of us have heard it before: Don't fall asleep after you hit your head.
Fact is, that's one of the most pervasive misconceptions surrounding traumatic brain injury (TBI).
A recent Abbott-YouGov survey that measured understanding of concussion and TBI found gaps, including inaccuracies around care and when to seek medical attention.
When you consider concussions pose short and long-term risk for millions each year, those misunderstandings can have grave consequences.
The survey of about 1,000 U.S. adults spanning across ethnicities, genders, ages, income levels, education backgrounds and regions found:
- 61% believe you should avoid falling asleep after sustaining a concussion.
Just like you'd give your ankle a breather after a sprain, your brain often needs the same after injury. Sleep and rest can be beneficial, though you should always consult a doctor.
- Only 43% of adults understand the importance of limiting things that may worsen symptoms, such as screen time on cell phones/computers/television after sustaining a concussion.
Part of the downtime your brain needs after sustaining a concussion may include limiting time on screens, such as cell phones, tablets, computers, TVs, or video games.
- 30% of adults said they hit their head or received a blow to the head and suspected concussion but did not seek medical care.
Proper detection and aftercare of brain injury enables proper recovery. By not seeking medical care, you run the risk of prolonging recovery or sustaining further injury.
The ability to quickly recognize, confirm and treat concussion is critical in proper recovery, which can prevent risk of aggravated symptoms, longer recovery time and repeated injury.
That's why we've spent the last decade pioneering the future of concussion assessment, developing life-changing technologies to change the way we see, detect and treat brain injuries.
Thanks to recent FDA clearance, emergency room doctors and other healthcare professionals can now use the first-ever rapid, handheld TBI plasma test to evaluate suspected concussions. Test results are available 15 minutes after blood plasma is placed in the test cartridge, aiding decision making and recovery.
As we continue our work, our hope for the future is having a test that can be used both inside and outside of the traditional healthcare setting, when and where people experience head injuries and need evaluation.
People may forgo a trip to the doctor after sustaining a suspected brain injury because "I'm fine!" or "I didn't lose consciousness." By knowing what signs to look for, you can optimize your recovery and return to the things you love.
Clearly, there's much yet for many to learn, but you can start here to get the facts on concussion.