March is Brain Injury Awareness month!
Every March for more than 30 years, the Brain Injury Association of America works to raise awareness on brain injuries through engaging public awareness campaigns. Each year, more than 3.5 million Americans sustain brain injuries, and over 12 million live with a brain injury (ABI). The campaign's theme for 2018 through 2020 is called the #ChangeYourMind campaign. It is a platform intended for educating the general public about the incidence of brain injury and the needs of people with brain injuries and their families. People who engage in helping to raise awareness for this campaign are essential to de-stigmatizing brain injury through outreach within the brain injury community, empowering those who have survived brain injuries, and promoting the various types of support that are available to people living with ABI.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) are a substantial contributor to death and permanent disability each year. A TBI is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain, and can range in severity from mild to severe. TBI's are the cause of over 50,000 deaths and a contributing factor to 30% of all injury related deaths in the US each year.
Nearly everyone knows someone who has sustained, suffered from, or currently is living with ABI or TBI. Most TBI's that occur each year are mild, and are known as concussions. However, other TBI's are very severe and affect nearly every aspect of a person's life. Brain injuries and TBI's affect people of all ages, but are most common in children and the elderly.
The leading cause of TBI-related hospitalizations varied by age:
Falls were the leading cause among children 0-14 years of age and adults 45 years of age and older.
Motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of hospitalizations for adolescents and persons 15-44 years of age.
Estimated Average Percentage of Annual TBI by External Cause in the United States
Falls - 47%
Struck By/Against - 15%
Motor Vehicle-Traffic - 14%
Assault - 9%
Unknown/Other - 15%
By sharing information and statistics about brain injuries, we hope to help raise awareness about this public health issue. If this is an issue that you care about and want to help raise awareness for, feel free to wear purple on on each Thursday of the month and share with others why you are doing so!