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Breakthrough Guide Aids Detection and Care of TBI from Abuse

A groundbreaking guide has been developed by researchers, advocates, and medical professionals across North America to address the often-overlooked issue of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) caused by abuse and intimate partner violence.

Led by Paul van Donkelaar, Ph.D., a professor at the University of B.C.’s Okanagan campus, the first-of-its-kind resource offers crucial assistance to medical professionals in identifying and caring for brain injuries resulting from domestic violence. The guide, created in collaboration with 11 experts, aims to improve health outcomes for survivors of abuse.

Startling statistics reveal that globally, one in three women will experience violence at the hands of their partners, with the national rate of domestic abuse in Canada estimated at approximately 44%. Shockingly, about 92% of survivors of intimate partner violence may also suffer from one or more brain injuries, caused by blows to the head, face, neck, or strangulation.

Concussions resulting from abuse can lead to a wide array of physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms. Severe forms of brain injury can even result in seizures or impairments in movement, vision, or language. Sadly, many survivors face difficulties in receiving appropriate care, due to the unique needs and varying presentations of their injuries.

The lack of standardized clinical practice guidelines in Canada for the medical assessment and management of brain injuries resulting from domestic abuse highlights the urgency of the issue. To address this gap, the new resource offers comprehensive guidance on medical assessment, management, and follow-up, while honoring the unique needs of survivors.

Van Donkelaar emphasized the importance of timely and appropriate medical care, as failure to do so can lead to delayed diagnosis and treatment of injuries. 

If you or someone you know has suffered from a TBI from abuse in California, seek help and support from the Brain Injury Help Center. It’s essential to understand that the fault lies solely with the abuser, and victims should not hesitate to reach out for assistance.

Call the Brain Injury Help Center today for a free consultation. 

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