Brain Injury Awareness Month: An Overview of Brain Injuries

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. The purpose of brain injury month is to raise awareness about the needs of those suffering from brain injuries and their families, as well as how common brain injuries are. The Center for Disease Control estimates that 1.7 million people in the United States sustain a TBI (traumatic brain injury) annually. Many know our cause and our dedication to helping heal our heroes who have sustained traumatic brain injuries on and off the battlefield while serving our country. However, it’s also important to recognize that brain injuries can and do happen to anyone.

Statistics on Brain Injuries
As the statistics we shared illustrate, brain injuries are far from uncommon in the United States. Out of the 1.7 million people who sustain brain injuries each year, around 75% of those are mTBIs (mild traumatic brain injuries), also known as concussions. It’s estimated that 12 million people currently live with a brain injury. In 2016, the Department of Defense reported 18,311 cases of traumatic brain injury in the armed forces, down from 22,694 in 2015.

Causes of Brain Injuries
What causes brain injuries? We covered some of the ways service members sustain brain injuries in last week’s blog. However, for non-military citizens, the leading causes for brain injuries are different. One notable difference is that service members are susceptible to brain injuries as a result of blasts/explosions. The general public in the United States are not likely to be exposed to the same scenarios. As of 2013, the leading cause of brain injuries (47% of cases) resulted from a fall. 15% of brain injuries resulted from being struck by/against an object. Finally, 14% were from motor-vehicle accidents.

One thing that makes brain injuries unique from other injuries is that every brain injury is different. The symptoms of brain injuries can include changes to a person’s physical, mental, and cognitive abilities. For some, a brain injury that falls more on the serve side of the spectrum, it can become a lifelong process to live with and adjust to the results of the injury. Less severe brain injuries such as concussions typically require rest (both physical and mental) in order to properly allow the brain to recover.

The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund’s Intrepid Spirit centers are specially designed and equipped to help treat service members suffering from traumatic brain injuries and psychological health conditions. Learn more about what we do here.

Posted on February 26 2018 in Blog

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