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Officer endures traumatic brain injury while off duty in Ohio

A Mason County police officer endured a traumatic brain injury (TBI) when he fell off his bicycle on May 9, 2011 in Loveland, Ohio. Police say the off-duty officer was out with his dog at the time of the incident, but they are not sure what caused him to fall from his bike.

The police officer is reportedly in critical condition. He has been unable to speak and has struggled with pneumonia. However, he has shown some signs of recovery from this catastrophic injury. His wife reported that he can open his eyes and is now able to move his arms and legs.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that traumatic brain injuries happen to approximately 1.7 million people annually in the United States. According to the CDC, falls are the most common cause of TBI. Just over thirty-five percent of cases are the result of falls. The same report shows that approximately 17 percent of brain injury cases are caused by motor vehicle accidents.

To prevent these types of injuries, the CDC recommends wearing a helmet when riding a bike or motorcycle. Other preventative measures include wearing a seat belt when riding in a car.

Recovery from these injuries often requires support, patience and tolerance from family members. When the brain injury victim is released from the hospital, the family members often become the primary caregivers at home.

In the Ohio police officer's case, the lives of his wife and three children were likely turned upside down after his accident. When a family's routine is suddenly interrupted it can cause exhaustion and frustration. In addition, family members may feel apprehensive and anxious about the recovery of their loved one. Hopefully the police officer in this case will make a full recovery.

Source: News.cincinnati.com, "Mason officer recovering from brain injury," Paul McKibben, 16 May, 2011

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