Some facts about traumatic brain injury

Well, I’m late in letting you know the Ohio legislature designated July 9 as “Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Day” to increase public awareness of traumatic brain injury.

Traumatic brain injury has been referred as the “silent epidemic,” because it is a major cause of death and disability in the United States, but it’s rarely recognized. Traumatic brain injury also is the “signature injury” of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. Its incidence in the military population carries implications for the Veterans Affairs Department, as well as communities that seek to meet the needs of veterans and their families.

According to Congressional Research Service reports, between the years 2000 and 2010, the total incidence of traumatic brain injury in the U.S. military was 178,876. The Ohio VA Health Care Systems report that of 18,543 veterans screened for possible traumatic brain injury from 2007 to 2011, more than 19 percent showed a positive initial screen.

According to Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1.7 million cases of traumatic brain injury occur in the nation annually. Deaths attributable to traumatic brain injury annually: 52,000. Finally, 275,000 Americans are hospitalized annually due to traumatic brain injury and accounted for more than 30 percent of Ohio trauma cases from 2007 to 2009.

The CDC estimates that direct medical costs and indirect (other) costs of traumatic brain injury totaled $60 billion in 2000. Extrapolating an Ohio population ration, the cost in Ohio would be approximately $2.2 billion.

Not everyone with traumatic brain injury is a veteran. Non-military causes are from falls and motor vehicle accidents. Thus, prevention is possible, and it’s critical.

The Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties is committed to sharing information and resources for better mental health and the prevention of substance abuse. If you would like more information, please call the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky and Wyandot Counties at (419) 448-0640 between the hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. The board’s hotline is available 24/7 at (800) 826-1306.

Nancy Cochran,

executive director