March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, and today is Brain Injury Awareness Day. As noted in the video above from the traumatic brain injury (TBI) information website Brainline.org, somebody suffers a TBI every 21 seconds in the United States and in the time it takes to watch that film, 100 more people will have sustained a TBI.
According to the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), today’s event on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. includes an awareness fair, briefing and reception. In partnership with the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, the BIAA is also encouraging attendees to make appointments with their representatives and senators to “advocate for increased funding for the programs authorized through the TBI Act.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1.7 million people sustain a TBI every year. These are not limited simply to football players and those serving in our military. One art exhibit in New York City in conjunction with Brain Injury Awareness Month illustrates the wide variety of people these injuries have affected, featuring portraits of such celebrities and TBI survivors as Academy Award-winning actor George Clooney, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards and former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Falls are the leading cause of TBIs, accounting for more than a third of all TBIs, with the 17.3 percent resulting from motor vehicle crashes and traffic-related incidents making up the second-leading cause. Today’s events to increase awareness can hopefully encourage a better understanding of the issues TBI victims face in recovering from these injuries.
“Since anyone can sustain a brain injury at any time, it is important for everyone to have access to comprehensive rehabilitation and ongoing disease management,” said Dr. Brent Masel, national medical director for BIAA. “Doing so eases medical complications, permanent disability, family dysfunction, job loss, homelessness, impoverishment, medical indigence, suicide and involvement with the criminal or juvenile justice system. Access to early, comprehensive treatment for brain injury also alleviates the burden of long term care that is transferred to tax payers at the federal, state and local levels.”
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