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Give Brain Injury a Voice

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | 3/19/2012, 12:48 p.m.

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, a critical time when you can raise awareness about this important public health problem.

Bringing Attention to Brain Injury:

Have you ever hit your head as a result of a fall, a car crash, or other type of activity that left you feeling "just not right" afterwards? After a few days you returned to your normal activities, however, you kept getting a headache, were sensitive to noise, and had more trouble than usual concentrating or remembering things. Does this sound familiar? If so, you may be one of the millions of people who sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year.

This March, in recognition of Brain Injury Awareness Month, CDC and our partners are working together to spread the word and raise awareness about TBI prevention, recognition, and response to help address this important public health problem.

CDC estimates that 1.7 million Americans sustain a TBI, including concussions, each year. Of those individuals, 52,000 die, 275,000 are hospitalized, and 1.4 million are treated and released from an emergency department.

Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI):

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. This sudden movement can literally cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, damaging brain cells and creating chemical changes in the brain.

Learning the Signs and Symptoms:

Most people with a TBI recover quickly and fully. But for some people, symptoms can last for days, weeks, or longer. And in severe cases, a TBI can lead to coma and even death. In general, recovery may be slower among older adults, young children, and teens. Those who have had a TBI in the past are also at risk of having another one and may find that it takes longer to recover if they have another TBI.