Opened in 2014, Mission Hospital's Neuroscience & Spine Institute stands as the premier neurosurgical facility in Orange County

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Prevention

Injuries to the brain can occur from car/motorcycle accidents and sports activities as well as every day events such as falls when walking or riding a bike or skateboard. The brain can be injured intentionally when a person acts to hurt someone else by striking or hitting them. These injuries can be minor and cause little damage or devastating in its impact.

An Ounce of Prevention: Preventing an Injury is #1!

  • Seatbelts
    • Seat belts reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about half.
    • Seat belts saved 12,802 lives in 2014.
    • Air bags provide added protection but are not a substitute for seat belts. Air bags plus seat belts provide the greatest protection for adults.
  • Helmets
    • Each year about 2 percent of motor vehicle crash deaths are bicyclists. In a majority of bicyclist deaths, the most serious injuries are to the head, highlighting the importance of wearing a bicycle helmet. Helmet use has been estimated to reduce the odds of head injury by 50 percent, and the odds of head, face, or neck injury by 33 percent
    • Of 6,267 patients included in the study, 25.1% were helmeted. Overall 52.4% had severe TBI, and the mortality rate was 2.8%. Helmeted bicycle riders had 51% reduced odds of severe TBI and 44% reduced odds of mortality. Helmet use also reduced the odds of facial fractures by 31%. Conclusion: Bicycle helmet use provides protection against severe TBI, reduces facial fractures, and saves lives even after sustaining an intracranial hemorrhage.
  • Fall Prevention with Key Fall Interventions
    • Enhance strength & balance
    • Modify medications
    • Manage hypotension
    • Address foot problems
    • Optimize vision
    • Optimize home safety
    • Participate in a Matter of Balance Class
      • A Matter of Balance class is an 8-week structured group intervention that emphasizes practical strategies to reduce fear of falling and increase activity levels. Participants learn to view falls and fear of falling as controllable, set realistic goals to increase activity, change their environment to reduce fall risk factors, and exercise to increase strength and balance.
      • To find a fall prevention class please contact the Orange County Office on Ageing at or 1-800-510-2020
  • No Driving when under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
    • In 2014, 9,967 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third (31%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.
    • Of the 1,070 traffic deaths among children ages 0 to 14 years in 2014, 209 (19%) involved an alcohol-impaired driver.
    • Of the 209 child passengers ages 14 and younger who died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2014, over half (116) were riding in the vehicle with the alcohol-impaired driver.
    • Drugs other than alcohol (legal and illegal) are involved in about 16% of motor vehicle crashes
    • Use South County Safe Rides, a peer-run program overseen by adult supervisors, students from numerous local high schools staff a toll-free hotline for teens to call when in need of a ride home due to alcohol, drugs, or an unsafe date situation.
      • To get involved or for information about volunteering opportunities, please contact Georginne Mercado at (949)-364-1400, ext. 7754.
  • Using proper techniques when playing sports
    • Sports are a great way for children and teens to stay healthy and can help them do well in school. To help lower your children’s or teens’ chances of getting a concussion or other serious brain injury, you should:
      • Help create a culture of safety for the team
      • Work with their coach to teach ways to lower the chances of getting a concussion
      • Emphasize the importance of reporting concussions and taking time to recover from one
      • Ensure that they follow their coach’s rules for safety and the rules of the sport
      • Tell your children or teens that you expect them to practice good sportsmanship at all times
    • When appropriate for the sport or activity, teach your children or teens that they must wear a helmet to lower the chances of the most serious types of brain or head injury. There is no “concussion-proof” helmet. Even with a helmet, it is important for children and teens to avoid hits to the head

There are many ways to categorize brain injuries. One way is by explaining how the different structures can be injured. Another way is separating the injury into a Minor, Moderate or Severe TBI. Either way, it is important to understand where the brain is and how it is protected.