March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) leads the nation in observing Brain Injury Awareness Month by conducting an awareness campaign in March each year. The theme for the 2015 to 2017 campaign is: Not Alone.

Following are some facts on brain injuries:

  • More than 3.5 million children and adults sustain an acquired brain injury (ABI) each year, but the total incidence is unknown.
  • An ABI is any injury to the brain that is not hereditary, congenital, degenerative, or induced by birth trauma.
  • Typical causes of ABI include:
    • Electric Shock
    • Infectious Disease
    • Lightning Strike
    • Near Drowning
    • Oxygen Deprivation (Hypoxia/Anoxia)
    • Seizure Disorders
    • Stroke
    • Substance Abuse
    • Toxic Exposure
    • Trauma
    • Tumor
  • More than 12 million Americans live with the impact of ABI.
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a subset of ABI and is caused by trauma to the brain from an external force.
  • At least 2.5 million children and adults sustain TBIs in the U.S. each year: 2.2 million are treated in emergency departments for TBI each year.
    • 280,000 are hospitalized for TBI each year.
    • 50,000 die because of TBI each year.
  • The number of people who sustain TBIs and do not seek treatment is unknown.
  • Every 13 seconds, someone in the U.S. sustains a TBI.
  • One of every 60 people in the U.S. lives with a TBI-related disability.
  • Every day, 137 people in the U.S. die because of a TBI-related injury.
  • There are many causes of TBI:
    • Falls – 40.5%
    • Struck by/against – 15.5%
    • Motor vehicle – 14.3%
    • Assaults – 10.7%
    • Unknown – 19%
  • At least 5.3 million Americans live with TBI-related disabilities.

I’ll be celebrating Brain Injury Awareness Month three ways: walking a 5k to celebrate two years since my survival from a ruptured brain aneurysm; making a presentation to a local book club about brain injuries; and attending the Joe Niekro Foundation Aneurysm and AVM Survivors Support Group.