Kick Off National Brain Injury Awareness Month With 12 Important TBI Statistics

Every year traumatic brain injury affects nearly 2 million people in the United States alone, and countless more brain injuries are experienced around the world. However we have only began to understand the mechanisms that occur when a brain injury is experienced, let alone the full extent of the long-term effects that can follow a brain injury.


The Brain
March is National Brain Injury Awareness Month, which shines a light on those who have experienced brain injuries and those who are diligently working to better prevent and treat TBI.

Brain injuries such as concussions have received more attention than ever thanks to a heightened focus put on the safety of professional football players’ brains, but it is important to remember the majority of brain injuries don’t occur on the field. Falls, car accidents, and bicycle accidents are the leading causes of brain injuries for most age-groups and many of these incidents could have been prevented with proper safety precautions such as wearing seatbelts in cars and helmets when riding bicycles.

To kick off the month, today I thought I would share some important statistics from BrainTrauma.org which show how widespread TBI is and how the long-term effects are impacting the daily lives of a significant number of Americans.

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and disability in children and adults from ages 1 to 44.
  • Brain injuries are most often caused by motor vehicle crashes, sports injuries, or simple falls on the playground, at work or in the home.
  • Every year, approximately 52,000 deaths occur from traumatic brain injury.
  • An estimated 1.5 million head injuries occur every year in the United States emergency rooms.
  • An estimated 1.6 million to 3.8 million sports-related TBIs occur each year.
  • At least 5.3 million Americans, 2 percent of the U.S. population, currently live with disabilities resulting from TBI.
  • Moderate & severe head injury (respectively) is associated with a 2.3 and 4.5 times increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Males are about twice as likely as females to experience a TBI.
  • Exposures to blasts are a leading cause of TBI among active duty military personnel in war zones.
  • Veterans’ advocates believe that between 10 and 20 percent of Iraq veterans, or 150,000 and 300,000 service members have some level of TBI.
  • 30 percent of soldiers admitted to Walter Reed Army Medical Center have been diagnosed as having had a TBI.
  • The number of people with TBI who are not seen in an emergency department or who receive no care is unknown.

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2 Responses to Kick Off National Brain Injury Awareness Month With 12 Important TBI Statistics

  1. John L. Barrella March 4, 2015 at 4:49 am #

    Been head injured now for 34 years. Received rehabilitation in the early 90s. Of all the doctors around I have not met one who is aware of head injury. The ones that I did meet in the Rusk Institute when one came to the support group I was in, she never mentioned the treatment she had given me a few hours earlier…THIS big secret is still being kept. When I used to go every three months to the coordinator of my classes I would be seen for approximately 5 to 7 minutes and put back in my two classes…twice a week. When I completed my 3 years, was passed on to a doctor who used to work in the Rusk. Therefore aware of cognitive remediation. After two years she sent me back to the Rusk to be reassessed. Upon going there I was not allowed to reenter because apparently I owed some Medicare money. I was told however, that I could see the doctor in Bellevue hospital a month later using my medicare card. A month later went to see the doctor. Long wait, went into this cubicle in the gym of Bellevue. Another doctor was there. I introduced myself and told him…”I am…bla…bla…bla…I was in the Rusk for three years receiving cognitive remediation…”. He stops me there. Says to me…”What’s that?”. Through me off as I don’t remember right now but I may not have my symptoms with me. I explained to him as best as I could what it was. He gave me an appointment to take neuropsychological testing at a place in Manhattan. Easy to do if you have no head injuries. I also began the use of my index card simply a copy of my “cognitive remediation” poster I used in the Rusk. Also was supposed to see the doctor from the Rusk within a bit over a month. Went to the establishment, and here again, just like Mt.Sinai, where I had been to prior to the Rusk, and the Rusk itself, they began neuropsych. testing. Same problem here, all the tests where given within a six hour window. A person with head injuries…(especial one with amnesia) simply cannot last 6 hours. I did as I had no choice. I was told to get some coffe and be back within an hour. I couldn’t. I didn’t. Within an hour I was called in and told that I had a short term memory loss. I agreed…but I told them I have a bit more then that. Luckily I had copied my poster from the Rusk. It read…Rusk Institute cognitive remediation on top. Injuries…2-6-80-Right Crycingulotomy-1-12-80-Left Dorsomedial Cryothalamectomy 6-6-80-Right Dorsomedial Cryothalamectomy. 1982-13 shock treatments…(that took whatever memory I had left). My symptoms derived by testing and the cognitive remediation classes and learned within 3 years were: Long term memory loss, short term memory loss, focusing what is said, memory dejavu, time and place disorientation,impaiared insight and judgement, distractibility,emotional gaiting, hemiparesis right hand side. He asked me “where is this from?” I told him. He says to me that I would need no further assistance. A week or so later went to the Rusk to see my coordinator. Usual routine, go to the secretary, give my name and wait. Waited…door opened. Doctor comes out with my report in his hands. I usually didn’t speak much…(or any)…this time I asked him. I told him I had gone to Bellevue and they were not aware of cognitive remediation. He looks at me, sullen, quiet mood…and say…”Mr. Barrella, you are here now”…He was right, I was there (?)…That was not the last time I was in the Rusk as with my former doctor I asked if I could see a doctor there…(since those are the doctors aware of the treatments). Made an appointment, saw a doctor one, twice, but she had told me there really wasn’t any reason to see her. I had been through the program. Therefore I finally “realized” that was it. I kept my index card in my wallet and I have to take it numerous amounts of time. Head injury is simply not recognized…John…aka. Nino…

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