Missouri’s head injury program says the only cure for traumatic brain injury is prevention—and that’s going to become a special effort.
The head injury program has noticed a bad trend—rising numbers of hospital and emergency room visits by people with traumatic brain injuries. The program says about 12-thousand people are treated in a Missouri ER or are hospitalized each year because of traumatic brain injury, and about 13-hundred people die.
Reasons: falls among the aging population, motor vehicle accidents; and increasing: assaults and abuse, especially involving children.
Program manager Lori Brenneke says the action plan focuses on public awareness. She says most people with traumatic brain injuries say they might have thought twice about engaging in risky behavior if they had known ahead of time what the impact of their injury would be on their family.
The program also hopes to reduce substance abuse, pointing to reports that 70 percent of motor vehicle crashes resulting in serious brain injury are alcohol-related.
But she says the council can’t do everything alone. It’s looking for allies to help build public awareness that there are things people can do to protect their brains if they’re going to indulge in risky behavior.