The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that approximately 2.8 million Americans suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) every year. Out of these 2.8 million, the CDC states: 50,000 die; 282,000 are hospitalized; and 1.365 million, nearly 80 percent, are treated and released from an emergency department. Looking at this CDC’s report reveals the stark reality of the impact of TBIs:
“Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of death and disability in the United States. TBIs contribute to about 30 percent of all injury deaths. Every day, 153 people in the United States die from injuries that include TBI. Those who survive a TBI can face effects that last a few days or the rest of their lives. Effects of TBI can include impaired thinking or memory, movement, sensation (e.g., vision or hearing), or emotional functioning (e.g., personality changes, depression). These issues not only affect individuals but can have lasting effects on families and communities.”
The brain, although protected by the skull, is extremely sensitive. According to Mayo Clinic, the brain has the consistency of gelatin, and is cushioned from everyday jolts and bumps by cerebrospinal fluid inside the skull. A concussion is defined as “…a type of traumatic brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or body, a fall, or another injury that jars or shakes the brain inside the skull. Although there may be cuts or bruises on the head or face, there may be no other visible signs of a brain injury.” These blows cause the brain to slide back and forth forcefully against the inner walls of the skull. Symptoms of a concussion may include, headaches, pressure in the head, temporary loss of consciousness, confusion, memory loss, dizziness, ringing in the ears, nausea, slurred speech, delayed response, appearing dazed, and fatigue.