Are TBI’s just a “term of art” or are the effects very real? Suffers of TBI effects would argue that, yes, they are very real and can have a profound impact on a persons life. Many people are living with the emotional, physical and social symptoms of TBI and the burden it can cause on them and their families.
What Is a TBI?
Traumatic brain injury is caused by impact, internal injury or loss of oxygen to the brain. The effects from mild TBI can include dizziness, headaches, seizures and other symptoms. Severe TBI’s can cause cognitive deficits, impaired speech, vision problems and a variety of other symptoms. Along with the physical attributes, sufferers can have emotional and social effects ranging from depression and aggression to behavioral issues. Many of these effects are life-long for victims of TBI.
Prevalence Of TBI’s In Population
There are many new victims of TBI every year, adding to the growing numbers of people who are living with the life-long effects of this type of injury. Of course those are the people who are lucky enough to still be living.
- About 2 million people have head injuries each year in the U.S.
- 56,000 people die from TBI each year in the U.S., an estimated 34% of all injury deaths.
- 99,000 people have long lasting disability from TBI each year in the U.S.
Primary Causes Of TBI’s
Any injury or accident that causes a severe blow to the head can cause TBI, whether it is while playing sports or from a serious car accident. Some of the statistics relating to these types of injuries:
- 49% of severe TBI that require hospitalization are from motor vehicle accidents.
- An average of 140,000 head injury accidents per year from adolescent and children in bicycle accidents.
- 20% of TBI are caused from sport or physical activities.
Cost of Caring For People With TBI’s
The life long costs of victims of TBI can reach $4 million dollars per victim. In the U.S. alone, it is estimated the yearly cost of TBI is $48.3 billion. The majority of this is from survivors, but an each TBI fatality averages $454,717.
Far Easier To Prevent TBI’s, Than To Treat
The good news in all of this is that some of these injuries can be prevented. The tragedy is that they are not. Safety precautions to protect the head from injury are:
- Motorcycle helmets can reduce the risk of TBI. Those who do not wear helmets are twice as likely to suffer TBI than a helmeted rider.
- Bicycle helmets can prevent 74% to 85% of head injuries in their riders.
- Air bags can reduce fatalities in adults up to 23%.
TBI’s remain a serious problem and takes a large toll on the victim’s health, finances and relationships. Understanding the effects and what measures can be taken for prevention is the best hope for reducing these kind of injuries.
Traumatic Brain Injury Resources:
Jonathan Rosenfeld is a medical malpractice and personal injury lawyer in Chicago, IL. Jonathan is the founder of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers.