Traumatic Brain Injury Resources from BrainSTARS

Recently we had a student who had a traumatic brain injury and we were looking for user-friendly strategies to use at school. Our speech and language pathologist suggested BrainSTARS. I hope you find it as useful as we have in supporting students with brain injuries.

Tools from the BrainSTARS manual:

The manual is available in English and Spanish. For more information or to order copies, call 1.800.624.6553, ext. 5470 or moores.christine@tchden.org.

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Traumatic Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as a blow to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. TBI can result when the head suddenly and violently hits an object or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue. Symptoms of a TBI can be mild, moderate or severe, depending on the extent of damage to the brain. Mild cases may result in a brief change in mental state or consciousness, while severe cases may result in extended periods of unconsciousness, coma or even death.

About 1.7 million cases of TBI occur in the U.S. every year. Approximately 5.3 million people live with a disability caused by TBI in the U.S. alone.

  • Annual direct and indirect TBI costs are estimated at $48-56 billion.
  • There are about 235,000 hospitalizations for TBI every year, which is more than 20 times the number of hospitalizations for spinal cord injury.
  • Among children ages 14 and younger, TBI accounts for an estimated 2,685 deaths, 37,000 hospitalizations and 435,000 emergency room visits.
  • Every year, 80,000-90,000 people experience the onset of long-term or lifelong disabilities associated with TBI.
  • Males represent 78.8 percent of all reported TBI accidents and females represent 21.2 percent.
  • National statistics estimate between 50-70 percent of TBI accidents are the result of a motor vehicle crash.
  • Sports and recreational activities contribute to about 21 percent of all TBIs among American children and adolescents.
  • The mortality rate for TBI is 30 per 100,000, or an estimated 50,000 deaths in the U.S. annually. Of those who die, 50 percent do so within the first two hours of their injury.
  • Deaths from head injuries account for 34 percent of all traumatic deaths. Beginning at age 30, the mortality risk after head injury begins to increase. Persons age 60 and older have the highest death rate after TBI, primarily because of falls, which have a rising incidence in this age group.

Sources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Incidence and Distribution, 2004.

Traumatic Brain Injury Model System, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Introduction to Brain Injury – Facts and Stats, February, 2000

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