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Brain Injury (TBI) Statisitcs

Every 23 seconds someone in the United States will sustain a traumatic brain injury

Approximately 2 million head injuries of all types (including skull and facial fractures) occur each year in the U. S.

Over 1.5 million people will suffer nonfatal brain injuries each year that do not require hospitalization.

Another 300,000 people suffer brain injuries severe enough to require hospitalization. Approximately, 99,000 of these injuries will be severe enough to to cause a lasting, long-term disability.

56,000 people die each year as a result of traumatic brain injury.

Traumatic brain injuries will account for approximately 34% of all injury-related deaths in the United States.

An estimated 62.3 per 100,000 adults age 15 and over are living in the community with long-lasting physical or cognitive impairments due to TBI.

Who is getting injured?

Males are twice as likely to suffer from the affects of TBI as females. Males also suffer a higher mortality rates, which indicates that males are more likely than females to suffer severe injuries.

Individuals age 15 to 24 have the highest risk of TBI. The risk also increases after age 60.

Research suggests that residents in rural areas have higher age-adjusted rates of both fatal traumatic brain injuries and those requiring hospitalization.

What are the common causes of TBI?

Motor vehicle accidents account for an estimated 28% of traumatic brain injuries; sports/physical activity account for 20%; assaults are responsible for 9%; 43% are due to "other" reasons. However, when considering those brain injuries severe enough to require hospitalization, virtually half (49%) are caused by motor vehicle accidents.

Alcohol was involved in 41% of all fatal crashes and 7% of all crashes in 1996. More than 321,000 persons were injured in accidents where alcohol was present—an average of one person injured every 2 minutes.

While brain injuries due to car accidents have declined an 25% between 1984 to 1992, brain injuries resulting from firearms have risen 13% during the same period.

About 5% to 10% of skiing accidents result in head injuries.

What is the cost of care for traumatic brain injury victims?

The direct and indirect costs of traumatic brain injury in the U. S. have been estimated to be $48.3 billion annually. Survivor costs account for $31.7 billion and fatal brain injuries cost another $16.6 billion.

The lifetime costs for one person surviving a severe TBI can reach $4 million.

An estimate of medical and non-medical (e.g., home modifications, vocational rehabilitation, health insurance) per TBI survivor averages $151,587.

Average costs rise dramatically for those individuals who undergo rehabilitation. In one study, after a 4-year follow-up, average costs for medical and long-term care services averaged $196,460 for survivors receiving rehabilitation services compared to $17,893 for those receiving no rehabilitation.

Acute rehabilitation costs for survivors of a severe TBI have been shown to average $110,891 per person, or about $1,000 per day. The average length of stay for these severely injured persons in acute rehab is about 55 days.

Medical costs are the highest for those who do not survive—(an average of $454,717 per brain injury fatality).

One study showed that supported employment for helping TBI survivors return to work costs an average of $10,198 for the first year of service.

What are the effects of TBI?

Although the largest group of TBI survivors are young adults in their prime working years, many survivors, particularly those with a severe TBI, do not return to work. Estimates vary widely, ranging from a low of 12.5% to as high as 80% who do not return to work. The ability to return to work is highly correlated to the post-acute functional limitations of the survivor.

In a national survey in Canada, 66% of TBI survivors living in the community reported an ongoing need for assistance with some activities of daily living, 75% were not working, and 90% reported limitations or dissatisfaction with social integration.11

Most injuries are mild. The ratio of mild to moderate to severe brain injuries is 8:1:1.

Survivors of a severe brain injury are likely to experience prolonged anxiety and depression, and are at a high risk for loss of friendships and social support.

Approximately 20% of survivors of severe TBI remain unresponsive for at least one month.

The majority of individuals who survive a period of coma eventually regain consciousness. Data from the Traumatic Coma Data Bank indicate that of 650 patients who experienced a vegetative state after a brain injury, only 14% were released from the hospital in a coma. And of those, about half had regained consciousness after one year's time.

Researchers have found that persons who suffer a severe TBI continue to make gradual improvements in functioning for at least 10 years post-injury.

How can I better protect against traumatic brain injuries?

Motorcyclists using helmets help reduce their risk of suffering head injuries of all types, and, contrary to a popular misconception, are not associated with increased neck injuries.

Studies indicate that the risk of brain injury in hospitalized motorcyclists is nearly twice that for unhelmeted motorcyclists and that unhelmeted drivers had acute care costs three times ($30,365) that of helmeted drivers.

As many as 74% to 85% of bicycle-related head injuries could be prevented if bike riders were to wear protective helmets. An average of 140,000 head injuries per year are attributed to children and adolescents in bicycle accidents.

Air bags have been associated with a substantial reduction of fatalities in motor vehicle accidents involving adults (a 14% decrease in fatality for front passengers wearing seat belts and a 23% decrease for those not wearing seat belts). However, children younger than 10 (seated in the front seat) had a 34% increased risk of dying in frontal crashes in cars equipped with dual airbags.