OPA: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Fact Sheet

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Fact Sheet

What is Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a blow, jolt, or penetrating head injury that disrupts normal brain function. Due the complexity of the human brain, each TBI is different. While some effects of TBI may manifest immediately, others are not so readily apparent. The long term effects of TBI can include cognitive, emotional, sensory, and motor impairments. A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control reported that approximately 40% of individuals hospitalized with a TBI have at least one unmet need for services one year after the injury occurred.

According to the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA):

  • Every 23 seconds, one person living in the United States of America will sustain a brain injury;
  • 5.3 million individuals currently live in the United States with disabilities resulting from TBI;
  • 1.4 million new brain injuries occur in the United States each year.

What causes Traumatic Brain injury?

There are numerous causes of TBI in the United States. Some of the most common according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are:

  • Falls (28%);
  • Motor vehicle accidents (20%);
  • Head struck by or against something (i.e., sports-related injuries, falling debris, etc.) (19%);
  • Assault (11%).

Who is at Greatest Risk for TBI?

According to the Centers for Disease Control:

  • The two age groups with the highest risk for sustaining a TBI are individuals 0-4 years old, and 15-19 years old;
  • Males are approximately 1.5 times more likely than females to sustain a TBI;
  • African-Americans have the highest death rate from TBI;
  • Military duties increase the risk of sustaining a TBI. Blasts are a leading cause of TBI for active military personnel in war zones.

What are the Symptoms of TBI?

Due to the complexities of the human brain, the effects of traumatic brain injury are different for each person. Some of the more common symptoms can include:

  • Headache
  • Memory problems
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Slowed thoughts, actions, or speech
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred Vision
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Mood changes
  • Balance problems

Where Can You Obtain Additional Information and Assistance?

The Connecticut Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities operates the PATBI (Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Traumatic Brain Injury) program in Connecticut through a federal grant from the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The PATBI program provides FREE individualized advocacy assistance to individuals with TBI. You can connect with the PATBI program in one of the following ways:

  • Call the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities at (860) 297-4300 (Voice), (860)297-4380 (TTY), or toll free at 1-800-842-7303 (V/TTY) CT only.
  • Fax the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities at (860) 566-8714.
  • E-mail the Office of Protections and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities at OPA-Information@ct.gov

For additional information on OPA programs, services, and publications please visit the OPA website at: www.ct.gov/opapd

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Content Last Modified on 12/5/2012 10:35:38 AM