Using national data from 1995-2006, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a federal research agency, estimates that 1.4 million people sustain a TBI in the United States each year:
The leading causes of TBI are:
The signs and symptoms of a TBI can be subtle. Symptoms of a TBI may not appear until days or weeks following the injury or may even be missed as people who look fine even though they may act or feel differently. The following are some common signs and symptoms of a TBI:
The severity of a TBI may range from "mild" (a brief change in mental status or consciousness) to "severe" (an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury). An estimated 5.3 million Americans are living today with a TBI-related disability and require help performing daily activities. TBIs can cause a wide range of functional changes affecting thinking, sensation, language, or emotions.
About 75% of TBIs that occur each year are concussions or other forms of mild TBIs. Repeated mild TBIs occurring over an extended period of time (i.e., months, years) can result in cumulative neurological and cognitive deficits. Repeated mild TBIs occurring within a short period of time (i.e., hours, days, or weeks) can be catastrophic or fatal.
The costs to TBI victims are staggering. There is no way to fully describe the human costs of traumatic brain injury and the burdens borne by those who are injured and their families. Only a few studies of the monetary costs of these injuries are available. According to one study conducted in 2006, direct medical costs and indirect costs such as lost productivity from TBIs totaled an estimated $60 billion in the United States.