Take no chances with your brain

    KELOWNA, BC, April 1 /CNW/ - As "Brain Awareness Month" has come to a
close, BrainTrust Canada, a progressive community rehabilitation organization
for persons with brain injury, wants to remind everyone of the seriousness of
brain injury and the importance of prevention. "The issue of brain injury has
been heightened due to the tragic death of actress Natasha Richardson, and we
send sincere condolences to her family," says Doug Rankmore, CEO of BrainTrust
Canada. "Brain injury is the most significant health issue facing us today - 1
in 10 people are affected by it. We cannot stress enough the seriousness of
protecting your head - as much as 90% of brain injuries are preventable
through simple changes in behavior."
    As recent media has emphasized, do you do not have to lose consciousness
to have a serious injury. Symptoms of potential brain injury can include
headache, irritability, dizziness, ear ringing, mood changes, light
sensitivity, fatigue, depression and memory problems. BrainTrust Canada

    -   Monitor the person a minimum of 24 hours - symptoms can take hours or
        days to manifest, and do not leave the person alone during this time.
    -   Seek medical attention immediately if any symptoms are evident.
    -   Do not allow the person to return to any activity (i.e. sports) until
        they are symptom free (generally 7 - 10 days).

    "It is important to seek medical attention if brain injury is suspected,"
says Mike Ertel, Chief of Emergency Medicine at Kelowna General Hospital "as
delay can mean the difference between life and death. Of course it's important
to use your gut and consider the severity of the blow to the head, but it's
safer to err on the side of caution. With warmer weather, we're likely to see
an increase in traumatic brain injuries in the emergency room, as people are
participating in activities such as riding motorcycles, bikes or playing
outdoor sports. While it's great to be active it's important to make smart
choices such as 'wear the gear' (seatbelts, helmets), 'know your limits', 'get
trained' and 'don't drink and drive'. Brain injury can happen in an instant
but last a lifetime."
    Traumatic brain injury is when your head comes in contact with something
external or internal, as in the case of the brain hitting the skull. Brain
injury can affect anything - as the brain controls all major functions:
breathing, speech, motor control, emotions and 'executive functions' such as
judgment and decision making. Brain injury is 'multi-causal', resulting from a
variety of causes: stroke, motor vehicle crash, assault, sports, drug/alcohol
abuse, toxins etc.
    For further information, call (250) 762-3233 or www.braintrustcanada.com

For further information:

For further information: Magda Kapp, BrainTrust Canada, Phone: (250)
762-3233, mkapp@braintrustcanada.com

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