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Traumatic brain injuries are costly for Oklahomans


Brain injuries for individuals living with them have been described as a silent epidemic. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are the number one killer in the United States of individuals under 44 and kill more individuals under the age of 34 than all diseases combined. TBIs can result in long-term problems and disabilities for sufferers and victims.

Every year, 1.5 million individuals in the U.S. sustain TBIs, which amounts to 4,000 TBIs suffered daily. Of these individuals, one million are treated and released by hospitals annually. Each year, TBIs result in 50,000 deaths and leave 80,000 victims suffering lifelong disabilities. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in total, 5.3 million individuals in the U.S. live with disabilities because of TBIs.

TBIs are a serious medical concern. According to research, 40 percent of TBI victims had at least one unmet need for medical services a year after their injury occurred. The most common unmet needs were improvement of memory and problem-solving abilities; improvement managing stress and emotional upset; improvement controlling the victim's temper; and improvement of the victim's job skills. TBIs can affect thought, emotion and sensation. They can also increase the risk of serious brain disorders commonly associated with age.

Because of the serious symptoms associated with TBI, they can be costly to treat. The annual cost of TBI in the U.S. exceeds $48 billion. It is important to note that motor vehicle accidents account for 20 percent of traumatic brain injuries. When victims have suffered a traumatic brain injury because a negligent driver harmed them, the personal and economic damages can be extensive. Because of the serious nature of TBIs for sufferers and victims, the legal process can step in to help victims recover damages for the harm and suffering they have endured following a TBI suffered in a motor vehicle accident.

Source: BrainInjuryOklahoma.org, "TBI - What, How, Who," accessed on June 22, 2015

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