Each year over a million people in the United States suffer a traumatic brain injury. The CDC estimates that in 2000 the medical costs and indirect costs (lost productivity) of TBI in United States totaled $60 billion. The medical costs to the individual can be overwhelming. An average hospital stay for a moderate TBI is over 9 days. TBI patients may need a lengthy stay in a rehabilitation center; some patients stay for three months. When the injury is severe, the intensive rehabilitation needed may average over $1,000 a day. Expenses for a TBI include: initial hospitalization, rehabilitation and possible continuing need for medical care and a caregiver. When medical and non-medical costs are combined, the Brain Association of Missouri reports that the cost of care for the average TBI patient is around $151,000 in the first year after the injury. The medical costs of people who do not survive the injury are typically higher than those who do survive, since in cases of severe TBI, ventilators and other expensive treatments are used in an attempt to give the brain a chance to heal; these costs may then fall on the family of the deceased. Cited from http://www.brainandspinalcord.org/legal/brain-injury-medical-expenses
TBI can cause a widerange of functional changes affecting thinking, language, learning, emotions, behavior, and/or sensation. It can also cause epilepsy and increase the risk for conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other brain disorders that become more prevalent with age. According to one study, about 40% of those hospitalized with a TBI had at least one unmet need for services one year after their injury. The most frequent unmet needs were:
- Improving memory and problem solving
- Managing stress and emotional upsets
- Controlling one’s temper
- Improving one’s job skills
- Corrigan JD, Whiteneck G, Mellick D. Perceived needs following traumatic brain injury. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation 2004;19(3):205-16.
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Traumatic brain injury: hope through research. Bethesda (MD): National Institutes of Health; 2002 Feb. NIH Publication No. 02-158. Available from: www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/tbi/detail_tbi.htm.
- Ylvisaker M, Todis B, Glang A, et al. Educating students with TBI: themes and recommendations. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation 2001; 16:76-93.