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Gray Matters

Mercy Regional Medical Center's Gray Matters Helmet Program


Preventing traumatic brain injuries in our community.

Mercy Regional Medical Center is dedicated to promoting health and wellness through injury prevention. The goal of Mercy's Gray Matters helmet program is to increase helmet usage in the community - especially among children and young adults who participate in sports that have a risk of traumatic brain injury.

The program has three primary strategies:
1. To educate the community about traumatic brain injuries
2. To encourage people to wear helmets that are property fitted and appropriate for a given sport
3. To distribute free sports helmets to those who can't get them for financial or other reasons

Mercy Health Foundation is raising funds that will support this important program. For more information about how you can make a difference by contributing to this program, please contact Mercy Health Foundation at (970) 764-2800.

Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) causes damage to living brain tissue. TBI can be caused by a jolt, blow, or penetrating injury. Injuries can range from mild to severe.

Signs and Symptoms of TBI
The signs and symptoms of a traumatic brain injury can be subtle. Symptoms of a TBI may not appear until days or weeks following the injury. Common signs and symptoms of TBI:
• Headaches or neck pain that do not go away
• Difficulty remembering, concentrating, or making decisions
• Slowness in thinking, speaking, acting, or reading
• Getting lost or easily confused
• Feeling tired all the time, having no energy or motivation
• Mood changes (feeling sad or angry for no reason)
• Changes in sleep patterns (sleeping a lot more or having a hard time sleeping)
• Light-headedness, dizziness, or loss of balance
• Urge to vomit (nausea)
• Increased sensitivity to lights, sounds, or distractions
• Blurred vision or eyes that tire easily
• Loss of sense of smell or taste
• Ringing in the ears

Every year, we see traumatic brain injuries that could have been prevented or lessened if a properly fitted helmet had been worn by the inured.

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