Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) affects over 2.5 million people per year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Brain injuries caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain are a contributing factor to 138 deaths per day.
The leading causes of TBI are: falls (35.2%); motor vehicle-traffic crashes (17.3%); struck by/against events (16.5%); and assaults (10%). Blasts are a leading cause of TBI for active duty military personnel in war zones. In 2009, an estimated 248,418 children (age 19 or younger) were treated for sports and recreation-related injuries that included a diagnosis of concussion or TBI.
March is National Brain Injury Awareness Month, a time in which victims, advocates, family members and providers work to raise awareness and work to treat and prevent TBI.
Several related bills are pending in Congress:
Directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish guidelines for states on the implementation of best practices for diagnosis, treatment, and management of mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBIs) in school-aged children, including best practices relating to student athletes returning to play after an MTBI.
Requires the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to: (1) evaluate existing surveillance and data collection systems that track the incidence and circumstances of traumatic brain injury, including concussion; (2) establish a statistically sound, scientifically credible, and integrated National Traumatic Brain Injury Surveillance System; and (3) ensure that the System is designed in a manner that facilitates further research on brain injury.
Requires the Administration on Aging to initiate a comprehensive survey of current adult day programs that provide care and support to individuals, including young adults, living with neurological diseases or conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, or traumatic brain injury.
Directs the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to develop and publish an action plan for improving the training and rehabilitation services and assistance provided by the VA for veterans with service-connected disabilities, including TBI.
Directs the Secretary of Defense to furnish hyperbaric oxygen therapy available at a military medical treatment facility to a member of the Armed Forces who is: (1) prescribed such therapy by a physician, (2) serving on active duty, and (3) diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury.
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