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Facts About Traumatic Brain Injury

Comments [17]

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Facts About Traumatic Brain Injury
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What is a traumatic brain injury?

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the function of the brain. Not all blows or jolts to the head result in a TBI. The severity of such an injury may range from "mild," i.e., a brief change in mental status or consciousness to "severe," i.e., an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury. A TBI can result in short or long-term problems with independent function.

Traumatic Brain Injury Facts:

How many people have TBI?

Of the 1.7 million who sustain a TBI each year in the United States:

  • 52,000 die;
  • 275,000 are hospitalized; and
  • 1.365 million are treated and released from an emergency department.1

The number of people with TBI who are not seen in an emergency department or who receive no care is unknown.

What causes TBI?

The leading causes of TBI are:

  • Falls (35.2%);
  • Motor vehicle-traffic crashes (17.3%);
  • Struck by/against events (16.5%);
  • Assaults (10%); and
  • Unknown/Other (21%). 1

Blasts are a leading cause of TBI for active duty military personnel in war zones.2

Who is at highest risk for TBI?

  • Males are about 1.5 times as likely as females to sustain a TBI.1
  • The two age groups at highest risk for TBI are 0 to 4 year olds and 15 to 19 year olds.1
  • Certain military duties (e.g., paratrooper) increase the risk of sustaining a TBI.3
  • African Americans have the highest death rate from TBI.1

What are the costs of TBI?

Direct medical costs and indirect costs such as lost productivity of TBI totaled an estimated $60 billion in the United States in 2000.4

What are the long-term consequences of TBI?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that at least 5.3 million Americans currently have a long-term or lifelong need for help to perform activities of daily living as a result of a TBI.5

According to one study, about 40% of those hospitalized with a TBI had at least one unmet need for services one year after their injury. The most frequent unmet needs were:

  • Improving memory and problem solving;
  • Managing stress and emotional upsets;
  • Controlling one's temper; and
  • Improving one's job skills.6

TBI can cause a wide range of functional changes affecting thinking, language, learning, emotions, behavior, and/or sensation. It can also cause epilepsy and increase the risk for conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and other brain disorders that become more prevalent with age.7,8

Collaborating Organizations

Brain Injury Association of America
www.biausa.org
800-444-6443

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
www.cdc.gov
800-311-3435

Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center
www.dvbic.org
800-870-9244

Health Resources and Services Administration
www.hrsa.gov
301-443-3376

National Association of State Head Injury Administrators
www.nashia.org
301-656-3500

National Brain Injury Research Treatment and Training Foundation
www.nbirtt.org
434-220-4824

National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research, NICHD, NIH
www.nichd.nih.gov/about/ncmrr
800-370-2943

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research
www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/nidrr
202-245-7640

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NIH
www.ninds.nih.gov
800-352-9424

North American Brain Injury Society
www.nabis.org
703-960-6500

Social Security Administration
www.ssa.gov
800-772-1213

References

  1. Faul M, Xu L, Wald MM, Coronado VG. Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations and Deaths 2002–2006. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; 2010.
  2. Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC). [unpublished]. Washington (DC): U.S. Department of Defense; 2005.
  3. Ivins BJ, Schwab K, Warden D, Harvey S, Hoilien M, Powell J, et al. Traumatic brain injury in U.S. army paratroopers: prevalence and character. Journal of Trauma Injury, Infection and Critical Care 2003;55(4): 617-21.
  4. Finkelstein E, Corso P, Miller T and associates. The Incidence and Economic Burden of Injuries in the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.
  5. Thurman D, Alverson C, Dunn K, Guerrero J, Sniezek J. Traumatic brain injury in the United States: a public health perspective. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation 1999;14(6):602-15.
  6. Corrigan JD, Whiteneck G, Mellick D. Perceived needs following traumatic brain injury. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation 2004;19(3):205-16.
  7. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Traumatic brain injury: hope through research. Bethesda (MD): National Institutes of Health; 2002 Feb. NIH Publication No. 02-158. Available from: www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/tbi/detail_tbi.htm.
  8. Ylvisaker M, Todis B, Glang A, et al. Educating students with TBI: themes and recommendations. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation 2001; 16:76-93.

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. www.cdc.gov.

Comments [17]

My mother has had three fall each of them hitting either their side of her head on(1)on the back of her head. All of these were due to imbalance. Prior to the past three falls in the 2months she had fallen from getting out of bed too quickly,resulting in a fractured hip. She is 88 years old but has her "wits" and is very coherent. Only recently she has been put on meclazine for vertigo 12.5 mg tid Prescribed by a neurologist. This mg did not work. She also has what seems to be as a slight migraine. Primary doctor told her to take Tylenol for the headache,which he considered it to be the safest drug to take that can be tolerated due to her other medications,mainly cardizam atenolol diovan prodaxa. She was told to increase her meclazone to 25mg tid. On her first dosage of 25 mg of me calzone 25 mg she got ENEN more dizzy and her bp(which is normally high (diagnosed years ago for hypertension ) taking 160 mg if diovan. Her bp was kept in a good range taking this amount. But since her past three falls(one of which caused a triple bleed to her head,yet she had three ct scans showing improvement) at that time after her first really bad fall she reported dizziness and headaches however the past two "minor"??? Falls , she fell and hit the back of her head and another hitting her on the opposite side of her head with major bruising (but she was not on her prodaxa at this time ) now her bp is on the low side approximately 106/62,which is remarkable since she has always had hypertension. I'm confused and being her care taker don't know what to do if anything. She sleeps a lot in fact has had over 15 hours(and counting) of sleep this far since last night till now) Any guidance would be helpful she had been in the hospital and rehab and has been home with my husband and myself now for at least three weeks. This is where she had her past two falls as described hitting her head. One thing to mention is that i administrated her .5mg Xanax yesterday trying to help alleviate any stress related problems that may have been causing her headaches. Upon awakening for dinner last night after the Tylenol and Xanax (prescribed prn) she did not feel as dizzy and again ate two good meals one for lunch and another for dinner. My concerns are her drop in bp and sleeping so long ANY ADVISE

Jan 18th, 2014 12:21pm

My 12 year old jumped from a moving train on August 26, 2010. He was diagonsed with a severe TBI. Our days and months after the accident were long. What kept me from going crazy was my Faith. Believe it or not it does get better. It will be a long journey but God is with you. My son now is back to school in the 10th grade. I thank God every day for letting him be with us. My prayers go out to you and your family. Stay strong.

Nov 25th, 2013 12:39am

My 19 year old son was ejected from a motor vehicle crash and sustained fractured skull, severed artery to his brain, facial fractures, 2 brain bleeds deep in his brain, plus numerous other injuries, this just occurred on 10/09/2013, this is fresh and a whole new scarey LIFE however we are blessed he is alive and I just have got to say thank.God I found this website!!! Your kinda tossed around when u have no health insurance, but I'm grateful still... just thank you all so far your posts and comments are easing a bit of our worries...

Nov 17th, 2013 4:30pm

I had a major head and back injury 15 years ago. It happened at work yet the insurance company fought me all the way. I partially recovered for a while but growing symptoms like insomnia and cognitive difficulties have led to me losing my job and family. So now I must recover from a mental breakdown due to losing everything and not being able hold the same job because of age-physical ability. I seem to be able to find some resources for getting medication and support groups and even doctors yet there is a common piece of recovery missing. Shelter. It seems all the resources one needs are out there, food, clothing, but no shelter. No safe environment for one to work their way out of a situation and be rehabilitated. This lack of shelter situation makes the other resources useless. No progress can be made. Most family members cannot understand mental illness and have deep fear and stigma toward it. This leads us to the streets or a jail. Where we become criminals recovery becomes virtually impossible.

Nov 6th, 2013 6:16pm

Not in every way, but in many ways I'm a "better" person now, and I seem smarter....but in a couple areas I'm much more, or almost completely naive. I was wondering if something like this has happened to very many others? And has anyone figured out a more accurate and acceptible, understandable, less offensive way of explaining to people that "I have a TBI, and I'm retarded" or I say "I'm spethal"

Nov 5th, 2013 12:38pm

thanks a lot, when did you put this website up

Oct 9th, 2013 11:48am

9-7-07, I was rear-ended while on a Kawaski Ninja that I dont recall owning. With my sixth birthday/literal divine integration coming in less than a week, I am completely independent. Not so bad for a "permanent vegetative state". I will be learning Biblical Hebrew, not only to enrich my soul with the direct relations of my "homeboy". I dont know who might comment, however its worth a shot to meet someone like myself. So, LA CHAIM!!!!

Sep 3rd, 2013 10:31am

I appreciate your posting here - I work with multiple populations as well as TBI survivors. I am a Hospital Liaison for a Mental Health Agency and my biggest issue with TBI persons is finding appropriate placement options. These folks don't always have family or friends that they can reside with. A lot of TBI persons, especially if they have other mental health issues are likely to remain in psychiatric hospitals because there are no placement options available that will provide a structured supervised living environment for them. There are several folks that require 24 hour supervision and with the TBI Waiver requirements in effect presently - they also have to meet a PAS-2000 (Nursing Home Pass) in order to qualify for this Financial Assistance. Unfortunately, if your body is in good working condition - you don't qualify - even if your TBI is severe. I have written my states Legislative committee and have individually contacted several committee members with this issue. the best response I received was "We'll look into this issue and get back with you." This is NOT the response I was really looking for. I would appreciate Legislation to actually investigate the REAL issues with this population: 1) Lack of Community Support Services; 2) Lack of adequate Supportive Housing options for Homeless TBI survivors; 3) Redesign of the TBI Waiver program from excluding a severe TBI person because their body is "too healthy" to receive this benefit; and 4) Financial Assistance for TBI persons needing other Community Mental Health Services.

Nov 9th, 2012 8:33am

I specialize in TBI case research and summarization of medical information for trial. I feel like the part that no one talks about is that the stats are pretty favorable that the patient will develop future conditions from the accident that happened 20 years ago. I try to keep current on research as they do so much in other countries in terms of trying to repair affected areas of the brain with medication and other intervention and wonder why the US doesn't. If you are a Plaintiff in litigation, be your own best advocate and give the statistics to your attorney so they will make sure you have a settlement that provides for reasonably anticipated future medical care. Of course, no one knows who could develop what but there is a good argument that you will deal with new symptoms or illnesses in your lifetime if you have suffered a TBI. I have personally watched someone I cared about suffer from seizures, stroke-like episodes and episodes of confusion that include non relation of time and place, he suffered a TBI as a result of a motorcycle accident many years ago. His way of dealing with it was withdrawing from the world and most people. I wonder how many people there are like him who have no idea. For the cases that involve litigation, there needs to be a much bigger focus on future medical care.

Aug 3rd, 2012 12:28pm

"What causes TBI? The leading causes of TBI are: Falls (35.2%); Motor vehicle-traffic crashes (17.3%)" Silver, McAllister, and Yudofski in their book by 2005 have named Motor vehicles crashes as the first, and Falls as the second causes of TBI. Sarah, Psychology student, Iran

Jul 31st, 2012 11:15am

I received a pretty bad head injury when I was in Junior High and was in and out of consciousness for almost 20 minutes. When I returned to school I had a bad head ache and very little memory loss other than the incident and the time I arrived at the doctors office. Then I joined the military and I received several small head injuries while I was in the Service but none were of much concern to me.However, I did notice problems with headaches and worsening memory loss or an inability to recall events as clearly and with detail as I was able to when I was younger. When I retired from the service I had another severe head injury which left me walking around unconscious for several minutes (as I was told) and no memory of who I spoke to or what I said. Since then I have had severe headaches and increasing problems with my memory. I have a hard time concentrating or studying even-though I have been told I was normal. If this is normal it really sucks. How can I receive an assessment for brain injury? The only income I have is disability and a small retirement pension from the military, my insurance is Medicare and I am struggling in college classes. After I retired

Apr 30th, 2012 5:00pm

thank you for the helpful information. :D RAINBOWS RULE SAVE THE EARTH RECYCLE

Dec 13th, 2010 9:41am

I would like to cite many of|your informational sources as reference points on my Mesa College Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) website. These are very good informational sources.

Sep 5th, 2010 7:41pm

ThAnk U sO mUcH 4 yOuR hElP

Apr 8th, 2010 5:19pm

"TBI" Camps are needed to assist veterans and their families and help to restore self-confidence and a "can do" attitude. As a "TBI" recipient, I can attest to the 30-40 years that it took to restore my "can do" attitude on my own. I'm sure that our Nation's Wounded Warriors deserve much more. You can help by helping to create awareness and acceptance of the "TBI" enabled veteran (who fought and sacrificed to protect your rights and freedoms) by society - especially by the employer community.

Feb 19th, 2010 1:18pm

thank you so much for posting this!!!!

Feb 9th, 2010 1:58pm

Great traumatic brain injury facts and statistics. It really does impact a lot of people!

Sep 25th, 2009 2:42pm


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