The Prevalence of TBIs

We’ve discussed traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in many of our posts, because it’s at the heart of what many of the centers we build research, diagnose, and treat. While we try to stress the severity and wide reach of these injuries, it’s difficult to show how much TBIs really impact our service members without some hard data. For that reason, here are a few facts about how prevalent TBIs have been over the last 23 years. By the end of 2024, it is likely that the number of TBIs worldwide sustained by service members since 2000 will surpass half a million.


The Defense Medical Surveillance System (DMSS) aggregates the data, which the Department of Defense (DOD) reports on. The data indicates that there were a worldwide total of 20,316 US military TBI cases in 2022 (2023 data is still being finalized). Of those cases, 11,215 (55%) are from the U.S. Army alone. While most of these cases are classified as “mild,” treatment is still necessary. It’s also important to note that many of these injuries aren’t sustained on the battlefield or in combat. TBIs can happen anywhere, at any time.

What exactly is a TBI? A TBI is when someone receives a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or in more severe cases, a penetrating head injury. The impact of this injury causes disruptions to the brain’s normal functions. With such a wide range of causes, it is easy to see why this is so prevalent with our service members. Read more on the basics of TBIs in our blog.

Dealing with TBIs is something that many of our nation’s heroes struggle with, from evaluation and diagnosis, all the way to actually receiving proper treatment to help them return to active duty or regular civilian life. That’s where the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF) comes in. We’ve been building centers to address TBIs and other invisible wounds of war since 2007, The National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE), which opened its doors in 2010, and its’ satellite Intrepid Spirit Centers, which have been constructed over the last decade plus, are specially designed and equipped for TBI care. These centers not only diagnose and treat TBIs, but researching TBI diagnostics, treatments, and other components of these complex invisible wounds. As of today, these centers are responsible for diagnosing and treating more than 50% of TBIs in the Military Health System.

Because of the near-limitless capacities of the brain and ways it can be affected by an injury, two TBIs are alike. These centers simply the complexities of TBIs and bring together a wide range of treatments and experts under one roof. It aims to make the patient’s experience easier. As opposed to having to go to 6 different locations for treatment from 6 different specialists, it allows the entire care team to exist in one building and easily communicate with one another to ensure a copasetic and effective individualized treatment plan is developed, executed, and adjusted as necessary.

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DOD TBI Worldwide Numbers

Posted on February 9 2024 in Blog

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