Federal Planning with Regard to Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States
Planning in the United States with regard to traumatic brain injury (TBI) has increased at a rapid pace. It has taken place in the context of four larger initiatives during the 1990s. These include the themes of (a) prevention, (b) the decade of the brain, (c) the Americans with Disabilities Act, and (d) rising costs of health care. Within these themes, there has been considerable activity. Federal agencies have taken the initiative to organize existing resources to address these themes even in instances where new funding has been less than optimal. Within this framework, the National Head Injury Foundation has provided a major thrust to articulating the research and service needs of individuals with TBI. Specific legislation to improve the quality of services has been passed.
Every 15 seconds, someone suffers head injury in the United States. Every 5 minutes one of those people dies and another becomes permanently disabled. Every year head injury claims the lives of 75,000-100,000 in the United States. Of those who survive approximately 70,000-90,000 suffer lifelong disability, 5,000 develop epilepsy and 2,000 remain in a vegetative state. . . . There are 2,000,000 head injuries a year. . . . 500,000 are severe enough to require admission to a hospital. -- Interagency Task Force Report, National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke ( 1989)