Do you know someone who has sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI)? Is this someone close to you? Do you wonder why the injured person may sometimes act differently or not like themselves? Some days they appear to feel fine – there are no signs of the injury. Then, there are days when your loved one may be irritable, confused, forgetful, anxious, dizzy, tired, sensitive to light, or sad? These are just a few of the after-effects that a loved one may experience as a result of a (TBI). What is TBI? A TBI is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or by a penetrating head injury. A TBI does not just affect the injured person, but also has far reaching effects into that person’s life and into the lives of family members and communities.
From 2002 – 2006, an estimated average of 1.7 million people in the U.S. annually sustained a TBI; that’s more people than the populations of Dallas and Miami combined. For all we have learned about the body through research and science, there is still so much we do not know about the brain. The brain may be considered the final frontier of science, but we do have research of considerable value about prevention, as well as prompt evaluation and treatment. We know the signs and symptoms of a TBI can range from mild to severe. We know that after an injury, the brain needs complete cognitive (no reading, no watching t.v. or playing video games, no crosswords, etc.) and physical rest in the early stages of recovery. We also know that returning to activity, whether work, school, sports or leisure too soon, or to activity that may put a person at risk of sustaining a repeat TBI, can lead to more serious and permanent health consequences.
A new CDC Injury Center report, Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations and Deaths 2002 – 2006, finds that nearly a third of all injury-related deaths in the United States involve TBI. Not only do TBIs contribute to a substantial number of deaths, but they also cause permanent disability for many Americans. The direct medical costs and indirect costs to society from TBI-related deaths and disabilities reached an estimated $60 billion in the United States in 2003 dollars. The Injury Center recognizes TBI as an important public health issue and works to prevent TBI related injuries – from falls, motor vehicle crashes, assault, sports and recreational play – before they occur. Our scientists and communications experts work across fields to share information about the causes of TBI and how to reach at-risk groups with the latest prevention and response tips and tools.
For more information about how to prevent TBI or for response and recovery tips, please read about our work in the following areas –
- Falls in Older Adults and Children
- Motor Vehicle Crashes – Teen and Older Adult Driver Safety
- Concussions in High School and Youth Sports
- Assault on Children and Older Adults
- Clinical Diagnosis and Management
Wishing you a sunny and safe spring season.