Burden of Disability

A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, affects how the brain works by disrupting its normal functioning.[1]  The injury may occur from a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or from a penetrating injury, such as a gunshot wound to the head.[2] TBI is a major cause of death and disability in the US.  According to the CDC, approximately 61,000 TBI-related deaths occurred in the US in 2019[3], or about 166 TBI-related deaths every day.  Depending upon its severity, a TBI may lead to short-term or long-term health difficulties.  These may include problems with cognition (thinking, memory, and reasoning), sensory processing (sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell), communication (expression and understanding), and behavior or mental health (depression, anxiety, personality changes, aggression, and others).[4]  High-quality care for TBI requires that it be managed as a condition with both acute and long-term phases.[5]  Estimates of lifetime cost of TBI in the United States, including medical care and such indirect costs as lost work, range from approximately $80 million for the roughly 300,000 TBIs resulting in death or hospitalization to more than $750 billion for the more than 2 million total TBIs recorded in 1 year.[6]  DLH has partnered with leading institutions and multidisciplinary teams performing research and treatment in rehabilitation after TBI.

[1] https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/traumatic-brain-injury.asp, accessed 3/7/2022.

[2] https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/get_the_facts.html, accessed 3/7/2022. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Report to Congress on traumatic brain injury in the United States: Epidemiology and rehabilitation. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2015.

[3] https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/get_the_facts.html, accessed 3/7/2022. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics: Mortality data on CDC WONDER. Available at: https://wonder.cdc.gov/mcd.html.

[4] What Disabilities Can Result From a TBI?  National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. https://www.brainline.org/article/what-disabilities-can-result-tbi, accessed 3/7/2022.

[5] National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2022. Traumatic Brain Injury: A Roadmap for Accelerating Progress. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 163. https://doi.org/10.17226/25394, accessed 3/8/2022.

[6] Ibid., 2.

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