A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is an injury to the head arising from blunt or penetrating trauma or from acceleration-deceleration forces associated with any of the following: decreased level of consciousness, amnesia, other neurologic or neuropsychologic abnormalities, skull fracture, diagnosed intracranial lesions, or death.
Each year in the United States nearly one and half million people sustain a TBI. This is eight times greater than the number of people diagnosed with breast cancer and 34 times greater than the number of new cases of HIV/AIDS.
After a moderate or severe TBI, a majority of persons will experience significant physical, behavioral/psychiatric, psychosocial, cognitive, and/or medical problems. These are the kinds of problems that affect functional independence, living skills, vocation and psychosocial development, and these problems may extend throughout a lifetime.
Most TBIs are preventable. Because the sequence of events leading up to these injuries frequently follow a predictable pattern, points for intervention are possible. Prevention of these injuries often requires a multi-faceted approach involving education, enactment and enforcement of laws, and modifications in the environment where injuries occur.