Facts for Healthcare Providers
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are a serious public health concern with over 2.5 million affected by them in 2010. TBIs can lead to death and disability based on the severity of the TBI. According to the CDC, a TBI can be caused by bumps, blows, or jolts to the head or it could potentially be a head injury that disrupts the normal functioning of the brain. TBIs vary in their severity ranging from mild to severe. An individual with a mild TBI can suffer from brief changes in their mental state or consciousness. Severe TBIs result in extended periods of unconsciousness or amnesia after an injury has occurred. Overall TBIs can result in impaired sensation, thinking or memory, emotional functioning, and/or movement. Every day 138 people in the United States are effected by TBIs.
Leading Causes of TBI from 2006-2010:
• Falls were the leading cause of TBIs accounting for 40% of all diagnosed cases in the United States.
• Falls accounted for 55% of all TBIs among children 0 to 14 years.
• More than 80% of falls by older adults (65 and older) resulted in a TBI.
• Unintentional blunt trauma was the second leading cause of TBIs. Blunt trauma is any physical trauma to a body part by an object or surface.
• The third leading cause of TBIs resulted from motor vehicle crashes (14%) and is the second leading cause of TBI deaths (26%).
CDC, 2016. TBI: Get the Facts. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/get_the_facts.html.
Potential Risk Factors from 2006-2010:
• Children ages 0-4 have increased risk of death assaults related to TBIs.
• Children and young adults between the ages of 5-24 years have increased risk of death from TBIs resulting from motor vehicle crashes.
• Adults 65 and older have increased rates of death from fall related TBIs.
• Men are three times more likely to die from a TBI than women.
• Individuals ages 65 and older have higher rates of TBI death.
Symptoms of TBI:
CDC, 2014. Preventing Traumatic Brain Injury. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/features/braininjury/.
Fitness Considerations for Traumatic Brain Injury:
Physical activity is for everybody and persons with TBI can reap the benefits of an active lifestyle resulting in important health implications. A review of literature assessing the effectiveness of endurance training programs for individuals with TBI reported that common characteristics among this population are a sedentary lifestyle and lack of endurance. Due to the increased prevalence of secondary conditions and development of chronic disease in people with disability, more emphasis on physical activity as a preventative measure against chronic disease is encouraged in patients recovering or living with TBI. As a result, training and education on how to safely and effectively administer physical activity for persons with TBI should be addressed. For more on fitness considerations for people with TBI, refer to this article - http://www.nchpad.org/1262/5953/Fitness~Considerations~for~Traumatic~Brain~Injury.