- 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.
- How many people have TBI?
- Of the 1.4 million who sustain a TBI each year in the United
- 50,000 die;
- 235,000 are hospitalized; and
- 1.1 million are treated and released from an emergency department.
- What causes TBI?
- The leading causes of TBI are:
- Falls (28%);
- Motor vehicle-traffic crashes (20%);
- Struck by/against (19%); and
- Assaults (11%).
- Who is at highest risk for TBI?
- Males are about 1.5 times as likely as females to sustain a TBI.
- The two age groups at highest risk for TBI are 0 to 4 year olds and 15 to 19 year olds.
- Certain military duties (e.g., paratrooper) increase the risk of sustaining a TBI.
- African Americans have the highest death rate from TBI.
- What are the costs of TBI?
- Direct medical costs and indirect costs such as lost productivity of TBI totaled an estimated $56.3 billion in the United States in 1995.
- 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.
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.