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COMMUNITY HEALTH CORNER by
In the Hudson Valley, snowmobiling, skiing, snow-boarding
and ice hockey are great activities to get
people outside in the winter for exercise and fun.
But inexperience, unpredictable terrain or changing
weather conditions can cause serious injuries, including
traumatic brain injury (TBI).
TBI is caused by a bump, blow, jolt or penetrating
injury to the head that disrupts normal function of
the brain. TBIs range in severity from a brief change in mental status or conscious -
ness (mild), to an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury
(severe). Concussion is the most common form of TBI.
TBIs can have life-long effects and contribute to about 30% of all injury-related
deaths, so it’s important to prevent head injuries by wearing appropriate safety
helmets while participating in winter sports. A helmet should be snug and fastened
securely, shouldn’t be cracked or damaged—it can only withstand one serious im -
pact before losing its protective properties—and should be replaced every 5-8
years, if not sooner.
Additionally, it’s important to be able to recognize the signs of TBI. If someone
sustains a hit to the head, watch for changes in the person’s behavior, thinking or
physical functioning. For example, if the person acts dazed or confused, moves
clumsily, feels sluggish or nauseous, loses consciousness and/or can’t recall events
prior to, or after a head injury, they may have a TBI.
If someone experiences a head injury and is showing these symptoms, the
individual should stop participating in the activity and seek professional health care.
At Margaretville Hospital, our Emergency Department doctors and staff can effic -
iently evaluate and treat any head injuries.
For more information about Margaretville Hospital, a member
of Westchester Medical Center Health Network, visit