November 2014 General Election
Amendment #2 regarding the Brain and Spinal Injury
Trust Fund Commission
WHAT IS IT? WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
The General Assembly and the Governor approved House
Bill 870/HR1183 to ask the voters of the State of
Georgia if they would approve a penalty to be added
upon conviction of Reckless Driving. This added
fine would provide additional funds for the care
and rehabilitation of Georgians who have sustained
a traumatic brain or spinal cord injury through
the Brain and Spinal Injury Trust Fund Commission.
The Constitutional Amendment is important as the
number of reported traumatic brain and spinal injuries
and the costs of rehabilitation have risen sharply.
The resources provided to Georgians with traumatic
brain and spinal injuries are funded solely from
DUI convictions that are statutorily assigned to
the Brain and Spinal Injury Trust Fund Commission.
The Commission does not receive any tax revenue
to support those in urgent need. DUI convictions
in Georgia have fallen dramatically in recent years.
Convictions of DUI were over 41,518 in fiscal year
2008 and fell to 29,634 in fiscal year 2013. This
has meant that 25% percent of the annual funding
for those seriously injured has been lost. This
lost funding has necessitated the institution of
a waiting list for Georgians applying for urgently
needed grants for resources. Lifetime cost of care
for severe traumatic injuries can easily exceed
one million dollars.
If you plan to vote in the upcoming election in
November you will be asked to vote Yes or No on
"Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended
to allow additional reckless driving penalties or
fees to be added to the Brain and Spinal Injury
Trust Fund to pay for care and rehabilitative services
for Georgia citizens who have survived neurotrauma
with head or spinal cord injuries?"
Over 75,000 Georgians (2012) are either treated
in the emergency department or hospitalized for
a traumatic brain injury each year. Traumatic brain
injury is not a one-time event. It is disease causative
and accelerative. It is one of the most common predictors
of educational, social and vocational failure in
the United States.
For more information about the Brain and Spinal
Injury Trust Fund please see our Commission-At-A-Glance
Fact Sheet here
(Word Document Version)
Our annual reports can also be found here
and contain additional information regarding the
Commission and our mission of assisting our fellow
Georgians with life-long catastrophic injuries.
the Signs and Symptoms of Concussion?
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Most people with a concussion recover quickly and fully.
But for some people, symptoms can last for days, weeks,
or longer. In general, recovery may be slower among
older adults, young children, and teens. Those who have
had a concussion in the past are also at risk of having
another one and may find that it takes longer to recover
if they have another concussion.
Symptoms of concussion usually fall into four categories:
Some of these symptoms may appear right away, while
others may not be noticed for days or months after the
injury, or until the person starts resuming their everyday
life and more demands are placed upon them. Sometimes,
people do not recognize or admit that they are having
problems. Others may not understand why they are having
problems and what their problems really are, which can
make them nervous and upset.
The signs and symptoms of a concussion can be difficult
to sort out. Early on, problems may be missed by the
person with the concussion, family members, or doctors.
People may look fine even though they are acting or
When to Seek Immediate Medical Attention:
Danger Signs in Adults
In rare cases, a dangerous blood clot may form on the
brain in a person with a concussion and crowd the brain
against the skull. Contact your health care professional
or emergency department right away if you have any of
the following danger signs after a bump, blow, or jolt
to the head or body:
Headache that gets worse and does not go away.
Weakness, numbness or decreased coordination.
Repeated vomiting or nausea.
The people checking on you should take you to an emergency
department right away if you:
Look very drowsy or cannot be awakened.
Have one pupil (the black part in the middle of the
eye) larger than the other.
Have convulsions or seizures.
Cannot recognize people or places.
Are getting more and more confused, restless, or agitated.
Have unusual behavior.
Lose consciousness (a brief loss of consciousness should
be taken seriously and the person should be carefully
Danger Signs in Children
Take your child to the emergency department right away
if they received a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or
Have any of the danger signs for adults listed above.
Will not stop crying and cannot be consoled.
Will not nurse or eat.
What Should I do If a Concussion Occurs?
If you suspect that an athlete has a concussion, implement
your 4-step action plan:
1. Remove the athlete from play. Look for signs
and symptoms of a concussion if your athlete has experienced
a bump or blow to the head or body. When in doubt, keep
the athlete out of play.
2. Ensure that the athlete is evaluated by a health
care professional experienced in evaluating for concussion.
Do not try to judge the severity of the injury yourself.
Health care professionals have a number of methods that
they can use to assess the severity of concussions.
As a coach, recording the following information can
help health care professionals in assessing the athlete
after the injury:
Cause of the injury and force of the hit or blow to
the head or body
Any loss of consciousness (passed out/knocked out) and
if so, for how long
Any memory loss immediately following the injury
Any seizures immediately following the injury
Number of previous concussions (if any)
3. Inform the athlete's parents or guardians about
the possible concussion and give them the fact sheet
on concussion. Make sure they know that the athlete
should be seen by a health care professional experienced
in evaluating for concussion.
4. Keep the athlete out of play the day of the injury
and until a health care professional, experienced in
evaluating for concussion, says they are symptom-free
and it's OK to return to play. A repeat concussion
that occurs before the brain recovers from the first-usually
within a short period of time (hours, days, or weeks)-can
slow recovery or increase the likelihood of having long-term
problems. In rare cases, repeat concussions can result
in edema (brain swelling), permanent brain damage, and
More information is available at:
"The Dangers and Misunderstandings of a second