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Brain Facts &
Myths

TBI Facts *

Too many TBI

Each year U.S. emergency departments evaluate 4.8 million people for TBI

TBI is diagnosed in ~2% of total E.R. visits, hospitalizations & deaths

A "silent epidemic"

Thinking, memory and other problems changes caused by TBI are invisible to others

Those with TBI often mask, don't want to or don't know how to discuss their condition 

No such thing as mild

Mild brain injuries can result in temporary or permanent neurological symptoms

 

Imaging tests such as CT scan or MRI may or may not show evidence of any damage

Social costs

An estimated 2.5 million caregivers are supporting a person with a TBI

 

Families report substantial emotional and financial burdens from such caregiving

Bullets, Bombs & Brains

TBI is a signature injury of recent wars; >439,000 service members  diagnosed with TBI since 2000

A significant number of these veterans become homeless and/or suicidal

"Just walk it off"

53% of those experiencing a “mild TBI” report persistent symptoms and functional impairment a year after injury

TBI is expen$ive

Cost estimates of TBI in the U.S. including medical care and indirect costs such as lost work: 

 

Low est. ~$80 million for the roughly 300,000 TBIs resulting in death or hospitalization

 

High est. >$750 billion for the more than 2 million total TBIs recorded in one year**

* National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2022, Traumatic Brain Injury: A Roadmap for Accelerating Progress

** probably costs a lot more...

True rates of TBI are likely seriously under-reported; in many cases, data are drawn from health systems and disease classification codes that miss many people who experience TBI

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An average human brain weighs about 3 pounds

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