By Dr. Stephen Coulson, Emergency Medicine Physician at CHI St. Alexius Health Dickinson
If I were to ask most people to point to themselves, they would point to their chests, yet your sternum is not you. Your sternum could be surgically removed and replaced with metal, and you would still be you. Neither is your heart, your liver, your kidneys, breasts, arms, or legs, for all of these can be removed and replaced, and you would still be you.
What makes you you is your brain. That is the one part of your body that cannot be replaced, and damage to your brain will fundamentally change who you are. More importantly, while we can fix damage to most parts of your body, there is very little that we can do to fix a traumatically injured brain.
The best treatment of a traumatic brain injury, then, is prevention, and it is for this reason that the Emergency Department at CHI St. Alexius Health will give a bicycle helmet to any child who needs one, free of charge, whether they are a patient or not.
We strongly recommend that all parents make sure that their children wear a properly-fitted helmet each and every time that their kids get on a bicycle or razor scooter. Accidents happen when we least expect them, and the child does not need to be going very fast for a significant and life-changing injury to occur.