|The invisible injury: March is Brain Injury Awareness Month|
What do falling off a horse, crashing a motorcycle, slipping in the bathtub and getting a concussion while playing football all have in common? They can all cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
March is Brain Injury Awareness Month across the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year in the United States an estimated 1.4 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury. Of them, about 50,000 die, 235,000 are hospitalized and 1.1 million are treated and released from an emergency department. Many people recover from their injuries, but each year an estimated 80,000 to 90,000 people sustain a TBI resulting in a permanent disability. Currently, there are at least 5.3 million Americans living with a disability because of brain injury.
“Traumatic brain injury is frequently referred to as the ‘invisible injury’ because the complications that result from a TBI, such as problems with thinking and memory, are often not visible, and because awareness about TBI among the general public is limited,” according to Susan H. Connors, president and CEO of the Brain Injury Association of America. “With TBI occurring every 23 seconds, this public health concern ranks as a leading cause of death and disability in children and young adults. TBI costs our nation a staggering $56.3 billion a year.”
Each year, more Americans will experience brain injury than HIV/AIDS, breast cancer, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury combined. Despite incidence rates, brain injury remains largely unseen by the American population while awareness and prevention are key to lowering occurrence.
The Traumatic Brain Injury State Partnership Grant Program in North Dakota is building a comprehensive system of coordinated services for individuals with TBI and their families. This program will support individuals with TBI, their family members and caregivers, service providers, advocates and others and work together to build a stronger, more viable service system.
Coordinated by the Center for Rural Health at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, the program is funded by the North Dakota Department of Human Services and partners with the Anne Carlsen Center for Children, Dakota Medical Foundation, North Dakota Brain Injury Association and Evaluation Group LLC.
In North Dakota, TBI professionals are available to provide presentations and information regarding “TBI 101,” “Brain Injury and Veterans,” and much more. Please contact Rebecca Quinn for more information at 777-5200 or email@example.com.
-- Wendy Opsahl, Communications Coordinator, Center for Rural Health, firstname.lastname@example.org, 777-0871