I read with interest in the July 24 Beacon “Montana Has One of Highest Rates of Brain Injury-Related Fatalities in U.S.” While Montana may have more fatal brain injuries per capita than other states the reasons as alluded to by the experts were somewhat vague. Increasing the awareness for certain at-risk groups for the causes mentioned below might be helpful. It’s very unlikely the causes of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in Montana are any different than the rest of the country. Suicide, motor vehicle crashes (MVC) and falls respectively are the most common causes. Outside of suicide there are things that can be immediately done. Many of the falls are low falls by elderly patients on blood thinners; more teaching by prescribing physicians about the risks to patients on blood thinners would be helpful. As for MVC, one area that could be improved upon immediately in our state would be to have motorcycle helmet laws instituted.
Phil Bosco, MD