The month of March in the United States is National Brain Injury Awareness Month. Brain injuries can occur from a fall, a forceful impact to the head, or penetration of the head by a sharp object. The CDC estimates that there are 5.3 million people in the United States who live with disabilities resulting from a brain injury. That’s 2 percent of the total U.S. population. Despite the number of brain injuries across the United States, many are at a loss as to how to relate to these injured people, which is one of the reasons Brain Injury Awareness Month was created.
Brain Injury Awareness Month was established in 1980. The Brain Injury Awareness Association tackles aspects of policy and advocacy, law and justice, and medical response and research as they relate to brain injuries. Brain injuries occurring after birth are classified into two broad categories. Acquired brain injury can be the result of a tumor, lack of oxygen, or another condition that affects the brain. Traumatic brain injury is the result of external force or impact.
Traumatic Brain Injury Statistics
According to the brain injury branch of the CDC, there were about 223,050 serious, or traumatic brain injury-related hospitalizations in 2018, and 60,611 traumatic brain injury deaths in 2019. These numbers do not include the traumatic brain injuries that are only treated in the ER, urgent care, or those that go largely untreated. Males are at least twice as likely to be hospitalized, and three times as likely to die from a traumatic brain injury, as females. Older Americans are disproportionately affected by traumatic brain injuries due to falls. Among those over the age of 75, fall-related traumatic brain injuries often result in death.