Brain Injury Awareness

Brain Injury Awareness2018-12-05T13:33:57+00:00

Fact of the Day

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. Check back on March 1, 2019 for a new Brain Injury Fact of the Day each day in March 2019.
March 31

Thrown off a horse, kicked in the head by livestock, tripping over a fallen branch, almost drowning, and a stroke are all examples of brain injury.  The day starts off like many others, then the unforeseen happens – a brain injury.  Changes in your thinking, concentration, physical capabilities, emotions, vision or balance are impacted.

Brain injury happens in an instant and changes life instantly. Understanding brain injury is a first step in adjusting to the changes in cognitive functioning, physical abilities, perceptions and mental health. Learn more.

Proper medical care, rehabilitation and community services help survivors of brain injury improve functionality for daily living.  Learn more.
For more information, contact the Brain Injury Association of Missouri for support, education, recreation and advocacy at 
March 30

Life expectancy for rural Missourians is 76 years of age. With falls being the leading cause of brain injury among individuals 65 years and older, farmers are at high risk of sustaining a brain injury that may affect balance, vision, memory, problem solving, fatigue and more. Brain injury can go untreated if there are no visible signs of the injury, such as a fall.

More than 2.2 million Missourians live in rural communities. The life expectancy of individuals in rural communities was over 76.5 years between 2014 and 2015. In addition, the death rate for all 10 leading causes, including brain injury, are higher in rural areas. Learn more.
Prevention is the only cure for brain injury. Ways to reduce the risk of falls would be to put a nonslip mat in the bathroom or shower, remove area rugs, remove clutter from inside and outside halls and walkways, and improve inside and outside lighting. Learn more.

Dizziness and balance problems may be difficult to diagnose as these symptoms are mainly self-reported by the patient or possibly observed in some instances. These symptoms, known as Vestibular disorders, along with Vertigo or a spinning feeling, are often misdiagnosed or entangled with other related issues and require specialized evaluation and treatment. Learn more.

March 29

According to the Department of Defense, more than 18,000 brain injuries occurred in 2016 among Active Duty, Guard and Reserve Military Personnel. Nationwide, 83% of these injuries were Active Duty Army at 11,200 troops. It is estimated that many of the 21,000 deployed Military Personnel since 2001 will return to rural Missouri with a brain injury.

Of the 18,000 brain injuries among Service Personnel in 2016, more than 84 percent of the brain injuries are categorized as mild. Navy have the highest percentage of brain injuries classified as “moderate” at 16 percent. Learn more.

Of Veterans living in rural communities with service-connected disabilities, 49 percent have a service-connected disability rating of 50 percent or greater.  Learn more.

Almost 27 percent of Rural Veterans reported having one or more disabilities. These disabilities may impact work and life.  The Missouri AgrAbility Project may be a source of livelihood for Veterans with disabilities who are interested in farming, ranching or agribusiness. Learn more.

March 28

Thank you to our Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve Military Personnel as well as Veterans for service to our country.  Many Military Personnel experience brain injury from combat or civilian life through a stroke, fall, car crash or other incident. Blast injuries are the most common cause of TBI for Active Duty Military Personnel in combat zones since 2001. Learn more.

Service Members who sustain a brain injury may experience changes in cognitive functioning, physical abilities, perceptions or psychological health, regardless of the cause – combat or civilian daily living. Learn more.

Psychological symptoms are reported by 38 percent of Service Members.  This includes 31 percent of Marines and 49 percent of National Guard Members, according to Army One Source. The psychological issues rise significantly among Veterans with multiple deployments. Learn more.

March 27

Brain injury can impact the way you manage your farming operation. Damage to your brain from an accident, crash, fall, stroke, being hit or other injury may cause difficulty remembering or concentrating.  You may also get tired easily and need frequent breaks to rest.  There may be a change in your ability to walk or stand due to balance or vision.

Common problems associated with brain injury include:

  • weakness or paralysis of one side of the body or limb
  • changes in perception of hearing, smell, taste, touch and space difference
  • emotional challenges of mood swings, anxiety, impatience, depression and difficulty controlling ongoing laughter or anger outburst.
  • difficulty with problem solving, thinking, reasoning, paying attention and judgment
  • challenges with retaining new information and difficulty with retrieval of long-term memory information that affects learning and memory. Learn more.

Fatigue following brain injury is common and affects not only individuals with moderate to severe brain injuries. Individuals with mild TBI, including concussions, can experience fatigue. The level of fatigue varies for each person, just as each brain injury is different. Most people with brain injury experience fatigue at certain times of the day or after pushing him or herself physically or cognitively. Learn more.

Recognizing limitations in endurance, balance and physical abilities following brain injury is important during recovery and while adjusting to new abilities. Frequent breaks for rest, use of adaptive equipment, and changes in operation methods may be helpful in managing your farm, ranch or agricultural business. Learn more.

March 26

Brain injury is often called the “invisible disability”. There may not be physical scars or limited mobility from the brain injury. However, the effect may be short-term memory loss, taking longer to respond to questions, or changes in vision or balance.  There may also be a change in personality, mood, or sleep patterns.

Understanding brain injury begins with realizing that a healthy brain is made of neurons (nerve cells). These neurons form tracts that are routed throughout the brain to convey messages to various parts of the brain to control all functions, coordinate body systems, movements, personality, behavior and senses. Learn more.

Changes in behavior are often difficult for family members, friends and co-workers to understand when a loved one sustains a brain injury, and the survivor may have difficulty recognizing how his or her behavior is affecting others. In this situation, it is important to organize the environment for successful learning, decrease behavior problems and encourage positive relationships. Learn more.

Short and long-term effects of brain injury depend on the location of the brain damage, severity of the injury, and the health of the brain before the injury. The injury may affect one function of the brain or several functions. Learn more.

March 25

Every 18 seconds someone sustains a brain injury in the United States.  According the CDC, in 2013 the leading causes of traumatic brain injury include: Falls at 47%; being struck by or against an object at 15%; Motor vehicle crashes at 19%; and assaults at 11%.  19% of brain injuries are unknown because there is not a witness and the person cannot remember the injury.

Between 2006 and 2010, falls continued to be the leading cause of brain injury related emergency department visits, hospitalizations and deaths. Falls affect the youngest and oldest age groups at higher rates. More than half (55%) of TBIs among children 0 to 14 years were caused by falls.  Falls cause 81 percent of traumatic brain injuries in individuals ages 65 and older. Learn more.

Blunt trauma (being struck by or against an object) continues to be the second known cause of brain injury. This cause is 24 percent of brain injuries for children ages 0 to 14. For this same age group, 3 percent of brain injuries are from assaults, including infant head trauma (formally known as shaken baby syndrome). Learn more.
Motor vehicle crashes had previously been the number one cause of brain injury. Now it is the third leading cause of brain injuries among all age groups. Seat belts and air bags are doing their job! Unfortunately motor vehicle crashes are still the primary cause of brain injury for children and young adults ages 5 to 24. Please wear your seat belts. Learn more.

March 24

Brain injury changes life for the person injured as well as his or her family.  Due to changes in the physical abilities, cognitive functioning, balance, vision, fatigue and emotions of the person injured, the spouse or children may increase or change their responsibilities with the family farm. Modifications to equipment and farming operation may be helpful too.

Adaptive devices and assistive technology help individuals who sustain a brain injury and the resulting disabilities to be successful in farming, ranching or other agribusiness. Missouri Assistive Technology has adaptive devices for other resources available. Learn more.

Brain injury happens in an instant and affects the entire family. At some point, most of us will be unpaid caregivers for a loved one. When brain injury occurs, this care may be long-term and can be overwhelming as well as impact family finances and relationships. Care and support are also needed for the caregivers. Learn more.

Support, education, recreation and advocacy are available for survivors of brain injury, family members, friends, professional caregivers and the community through the Brain Injury Association of Missouri.

March 23

Between the years of 2010 and 2014, nearly 20,000 youth between the ages of 15 and 24 sustained a brain injury.  For these same years, more than 9,600 brain injuries were sustained by individuals between the ages of 25 and 34.   Individuals in these age groups are our future farmers.

It is estimated that 118,000 Missourians have a long-term disability due to brain injury. Health conditions with a significant increase post-injury as reported by survivors and families include depression, sleep disorders, chronic pain, PTSD, other mental health conditions, and seizures.  Learn more.

Motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of TBI related deaths for children and young adults ages 5 to 24. Assaults were the leading cause of death for children ages 0-4 years. Learn more.

Wearing a seat belt in motor vehicles reduces the risk of brain injury and death. Learn more.

The Missouri AgrAbility Project helps cultivate solutions for persons with disabilities to be productive in farming, ranching or other agribusiness. The disability can include brain injury, chronic pain, arthritis, depression and more. Learn more.

March 22

75 percent of traumatic brain injuries occur in youth under the age of 18.  Most are mild TBIs such as sports related concussions.  In Missouri, an average of 5,000 youth under the age of 18 receive emergency medical care for a brain injury each year. Youth are at high risk of brain injuries from falls, bicycle accidents, motor vehicle crashes and as a pedestrian being hit by a vehicle.

In 2010, there were 515,000 bicycle-related injuries that required emergency-room care according to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC). However, less than half of all Americans who ride bicycles wear helmets. Learn more.

Make sure the bicycle helmet fits your child properly and he or she knows how to correctly put it on.  The helmet should sit on top of the head in a level position.  It should not rock forward, backward or side to side. The helmet straps should always be buckled, but not too tightly. Safe Kids recommends this Helmet Fit Test — EYES check: Position the helmet on your head. Look up and you should see the bottom rim of the helmet. The rim should be one to two finger-widths above the eyebrows. EARS check: Make sure the straps of the helmet form a “V” under your ears when buckled. The strap should be snug but comfortable. MOUTH check: Open your mouth as wide as you can. Do you feel the helmet hug your head? If not, tighten those straps and make sure the buckle is flat against your skin.  Learn more.

Youth and young adults under the age of 24 in rural Missouri sustain a brain injury in a motor vehicle crash at a rate of 37 percent compared to 19 percent for urban youth and young adults. Learn more.

Sports related concussions may be misdiagnosed or undiagnosed if coaches, parents and athletes are not familiar with the signs and symptoms of a concussion. It is important to immediately remove a player from competitive play or practice when a concussion is suspected. Learn more.

Falls are the number one cause of brain injury in youth age 0-14.

Sports and recreation related TBI Emergency Department visits varied by age group and sex.

Children from birth to 9 years of age sustain the majority of brain injuries from playground activities and bicycling.  Males from ages 10 to 19 sustain the majority of sports related brain injuries and concussions from playing football or bicycling.  Learn more.

The majority of sports related concussions for females between ages 10 and 19 are while playing soccer or basketball or while riding a bike. Wearing a bicycle helmet and practicing good sportsmanship help prevent brain injuries. Learn more.

March 21

Sustaining a brain injury makes you at greater risk of having an additional brain injury. Once an individual has one brain injury she or he is 2.3 to 3 times at greater risk of having a second brain injury. This risk increases with each additional brain injury, regardless of the cause.  Prevention is the only cure for brain injury. Wear an approved helmet when horseback riding.

If left undiagnosed, a concussion may place a person at risk of developing second-impact syndrome, a potentially fatal injury that occurs when an athlete sustains a second head injury before a previous head injury has healed. Learn more.

While head injuries comprise about 18 percent of all horseback riding injuries, they are the No. 1 reason for hospital admission. A 2007 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that horseback riding resulted in 11.7 percent of all traumatic brain injuries in recreational sports from 2001 to 2005, the highest of any athletic activity. Of the estimated 14,446 horseback-related head injuries treated in 2009, 3,798 were serious enough to require hospitalization, along with an estimated 4,958 concussions and 97 skull fractures. Learn more.

You should only buy a horseback riding helmet that is ASTM/SEI certified. The testing required for the ASTM/SEI certification verifies that the helmet provides adequate protection for horseback riding.  Learn more.

March 20

Wearing an approved motorcycle helmet is effective in saving lives, preventing brain injuries, and saving taxpayer dollars. For example, there were 88 individuals who died in motorcycle crashes in Missouri in 2014Without Missouri’s universal all-rider motorcycle helmet law, the number of deaths in Missouri could rise to more than 150 fatalities, along with more brain injuries.

Read the Crash Data Report and the MoDot 2011 Summary Report.

The number of deaths would be even higher in Missouri if motorcyclists under the age of 18 were the only riders required to wear an approved motorcycle helmet. As, for example, in Kansas with a 70 percent motorcyclist fatality rate and Oklahoma with a 79 percent motorcyclist fatality rate. Learn more.

Hospitalization and related medical expenses are higher for unhelmeted motorcyclists due to brain injury. The average hospitalization cost for a motorcyclist not wearing an approved helmet is one-third greater than those wearing an approved helmet. Learn more.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that approved motorcycle helmets reduce the likelihood of death in a motorcycle crash by 37 percent.   Unhelmeted passengers are 40 percent more likely to die from a head injury than helmeted passengers. Helmet use prevents 13 percent of serious injuries for riders and 8 percent for passengers.  Learn more.

March 19

Active Duty and Reserve Service Members are at high risk of sustaining a brain injury.  Since 2010, an average of 28,000 Service Members a year have sustained a brain injury from combat, training maneuvers, recreation and daily life. The majority of combat related brain injuries for service members are from blast injuries and are classified as mild. 

Of the 30,000 brain injuries sustained by Service Members, 80 percent of the injuries are from motor vehicle and motorcycle crashes, sports and recreation activities, and military training.  Learn more.

Between ten and twenty percent of Active Duty, Guard and Reserve Service Members for each Military Branch were medically diagnosed with a moderate or severe traumatic brain injury. These classifications are characterized by a state of disorientation of more than 24 hours, loss of consciousness for more than 30 minutes, and memory loss lasting 24 hours to more than several days. Learn more.
It is estimated that 21,000 Service Members deployed since 2001 will return to Missouri.  Nationally, 33% percent of Veterans live in rural communities even though VA services are not readily available. Learn more.

March 18

Brain injury can change the personality of the person injured. Someone you love may all of a sudden be more anxious, dependent, angry, shy or even more outgoing and friendly following a bump or blow to the head or body that may have caused a brain injury. Despite a lack of visible injury to the head, there could be damage to the brain causing the changes in personality.

Brain injury frontal lobe damage affects the personality, judgment, problem solving, self-awareness, monitoring, emotions and more traits that influence actions, responses, relationships and behaviors. Learn more.

Frontal lobe damage can be undiagnosed when there are no visible signs of injury. For example, the person hits the car dashboard with no broken skin or bruising, but the brain rapidly hits the inside of the skull causing damage. Learn more.

When the effects of brain injury are not visually apparent to others, there may be difficulty in helping others understand your brain injury. You are not alone. Support, education, and assistance, along with suggestions for you to put in place, may help you adjust to new abilities. Learn more.

Learn about Behavior Management techniques.

Learn about Balance and Vestibular Issues.

March 17

Short and long-term effects of brain injury can be blurry vision, poor balance or constant headaches that interfere with your farming operation.  It can also put you at greater risk for another injury or incident such as a fall, being struck by an object or chronic pain. Treatment for symptoms and taking precautions can reduce your risk of secondary injuries.

Of individuals who are hospitalized with traumatic brain injury, 43 percent have a related disability one year after the injury. The injury-related issues may include cognitive function, motor function, sensation and emotions. The individual may experience change in one or more of these issues. Learn more.

Individuals aged 65 and older have the highest rates of traumatic brain injury (TBI) related hospitalization and death. With falls being the number one cause, reducing this risk is essential. Learn more.

Poor balance or vision changes are experienced by 40 percent of survivors of brain injury. This effect of the injury often does not appear until several days or weeks following the injury. Reducing the risk of a fall and increasing the ability to walk in a busy environment or on uneven terrain are the first priorities of vestibular treatments. Learn more.

Tips to reduce the risk of a secondary injury include:

  • Remove clutter in and along walkways
  • Install handrails on both sides of stairways and in bathroom
  • Improve light outside and inside of the house, barn or other structure
  • Maintain regular physical activity, if approved by your doctor. Learn more.

March 16

Effects from brain injury can include short-term memory loss, difficulty processing information, and shortened attention span. Physical changes can include limited use of arms, legs or hands. These issues from a brain injury can make it more difficult or may keep you from farming.  But it does not have to – modified equipment or alternative methods may be helpful.

Brain injury is complex since no two brain injuries are exactly the same. The effects of a brain injury vary greatly from person to person and depend on factors such as the cause, location and severity of the injury.  Learn more.
Assistive technology and adaptive equipment are available to increase, maintain or improve functional capabilities of persons with disabilities. This equipment, structure, product system or modified work practice can help you stay in production farming, ranching, agribusiness or other livelihood for living independently within your community. Learn more.

Brain injury changes life. But, there are actions and behaviors you can utilize to adapt to the life changes of brain injury. For example, change schedules to adjust to increased fatigue from brain injury; keep questions and instructions simple for delayed comprehension and processing time; modify home and work environment based on new physical abilities; and know you are not alone through support and education. Learn more.

March 15

Support Groups, Information and Referral Services and Family Seminars through the Brain Injury Association of Missouri help survivors and families know they are not alone. This support and education answers questions about brain injury, identifies resources within the community, and provides information about farming with disabilities.

The Missouri AgrAbility Project helps individuals with disabilities return to farming, ranching or other agribusiness.  Adaptive devices, changes in operation, and business planning may help keep you farming or ranching. Learn more.

Help, hope and healing are offered through programs of support, education, recreation and advocacy by the Brain Injury Association of Missouri. Learn more.

Education is essential when you and your family are initially impacted by brain injury or are many years post injury.  The Brain Injury Association of Missouri offers Survivor and Family Regional Seminars which are coming up soon – March 3 in Kansas City, March 10 in Springfield, and October 6 in St. Louis. Learn more.  Registration flier link

Brain Injury Association of Missouri Support Groups are held throughout Missouri.  These groups are open to survivors of brain injury, regardless of the cause – fall, car, truck, motorcycle, ATV or tractor crash, stroke, or many other accidents. Family members are also encouraged to attend since brain injury impacts the entire family. Learn more.

March 14

Every 18 seconds someone sustains a brain injury. In Missouri, an estimated 118,000 individuals are living with a long-term disability due to brain injury. This can include physical, visual or comprehension disabilities. Employment, transportation, rehabilitation and recreational services provide opportunities for survivors to live a quality life with brain injury.

Traumatic brain injury is a major cause of death and disability in the United States, with 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries occurring each year.  Brain injury accounts for 30% of all injury deaths in the United States.  Learn more.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services asked survivors of brain injury and family members about health conditions prior to and post-brain injury. The Needs Assessment survey in 2017 showed a two- to three-fold increase in health conditions that impact life following brain injury. For example, 24 percent of individuals reported health issues related to depression before sustaining a brain injury. This number jumped to 66 percent of survivors post-injury. Chronic pain jumped from 12 percent of individuals to 54 percent.

Understanding brain injury is an important aspect of adjusting to new abilities as a “new you” with brain injury. Support, education, recreation and advocacy are available through the Brain Injury Association of Missouri support groups, Information & Referral Services, Survivor and Family Seminars, Annual Professional Conference, Donald Danforth Jr. Wilderness Camp, and more.  Learn more.

The Missouri AgrAbility Project cultivates opportunities for individuals with disabilities to return to or begin a farming operation based on the individual’s current abilities and opportunities. Learn more.

March 13

The rural death rate in Missouri from motor vehicle crashes is more than double the urban rate.  Accidents on rural roadways result in more deaths due to curvier roads, higher driving speeds, lower seatbelt use among some age groups, and limited healthcare infrastructure to meet the emergency needs of the person. Seatbelt use saves lives and reduces brain injuries.

Seven out of 10 Missourians killed in traffic crashes are not wearing their safety belts.  Learn more.

The overall Missouri statewide safety belt usage averages 78 percent since 2009. Research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that automotive occupants are 45 percent more likely to survive a crash if they are wearing a lap and shoulder belt correctly.  Pick-up and light truck passengers are 60 percent more likely to survive a crash when correctly buckled.  Learn more.

The death rate from motor vehicle crashes in rural Missouri at 22 per 100,000 residents is double the 11 per 100,000 individuals in urban areas of Missouri between 2005 and 2015. Although death from motor vehicle crashes continue to decrease from 2001, nearly half of all rural unintentional deaths are from motor vehicle crashes. Learn more.

Of the 164 licensed hospitals in Missouri, only 75 are located in rural communities. There are 41 rural Missouri communities without a hospital, which can result in delayed access to medical care following a motor vehicle crash and can prolong functioning deficits from a brain injury.  Learn more.

March 12

Wearing an approved motorcycle helmet has shown to be effective safety equipment to prevent brain injuries and deaths for riders. Most motorcycle crashes occur on county roads and city streets – not interstate highways.  However, most deaths from motorcycle crashes occur on interstate highways.  Helmet use is estimated to prevent 37% of fatalities among motorcycle operators and 41% of fatalities among passengers.

Missouri has a universal all-rider motorcycle helmet law and our state has a 13 percent fatality rate for motorcyclists who are not wearing a helmet in a crash on Missouri roadways. Neighboring states of Arkansas and Kentucky allow motorcyclists ages 21 and older to ride without a helmet and these states have much higher unhelmeted motorcyclist fatality rates of 59 percent in Arkansas and 58 percent in Kentucky.

The Missouri Highway Patrol reports 82 deaths and 2,166 injuries to motorcyclists in 2011 on Missouri roadways. Learn more.

Of all Missouri 2011 motorcycle traffic crashes, 52 percent were in urban areas and 47 percent occurred in rural areas. However, 63 percent of fatal crashes occurred in rural areas. Learn more.

Private insurance companies cover about 66 percent of inpatient medical care for individuals injured in a motorcycle crash. Another 22 percent are covered by public funds. Insurance premiums often do not cover the complete costs of long-term rehabilitation for a motorcyclist injured in a crash, which can be extensive if the rider was not wearing an approved helmet. The increased payouts from insurance companies are likely to be passed on to all consumers as higher premiums. Learn more.

March 11

Survivors of brain injury often feel alone – that very few people understand their brain injury.  The Brain Injury Association of Missouri offers support groups throughout the state for survivors of brain injury and their families to provide help, hope and healing.  At support groups, you talk with others dealing with similar situations – you are not alone.

When brain injury happens to a loved one there are many questions, and often too few answers. The days, months and years following the injury can be an emotional roller-coaster.  As survivors and families face the unknown of life with brain injury, gaining knowledge about brain injury and learning from other families can be very helpful.  An upcoming educational program offered by the Brain Injury Association of Missouri is our Survivor and Family Regional Seminar. Learn more.

BIA-MO Support Groups are open to survivors of brain injury and family members.  Several support groups serve individuals from rural communities.  All are free and no prior invitation is required – show up and know you are not alone.  Learn more.

When attending a support group is not possible, other support, education and recreation programs of the Brain Injury Association of Missouri may be helpful.  Learn more.

Living in rural Missouri is the preferred option of many survivors.  The Missouri AgrAbility Project helps survivors recognize their goal of farming, ranching or other agribusiness opportunities.  Learn more.

March 10

The Centers for Disease Control estimate that more than 3 million concussions occur each year.  However, a large portion – 2.5 million – are not reported, diagnosed or treated. Signs of a concussion include dizziness, blurred vision, slurred words, appearing dazed, walking or running off balance, headache or a change in sleep patterns – just to name a few.

The symptoms of a concussion may last only a few minutes to a few weeks, months or, in rare cases, years. Recognizing the signs of a potential concussion and not participating in activities that could jolt the brain is important until all symptoms go away for a minimum of 24 hours or medical attention is received.  Learn more.

Concussions do not only occur in sports. Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries account for 75 to 90 percent of brain injuries from falls, struck by or against an object, assaults and motor vehicle crashes. Diagnosis can be difficult with the symptoms being similar to other medical conditions such as PTSD, depression and migraine headaches. Recovery from a concussion involves rest, limited physical activities and brain rest.  Learn more.

Prevention is the only cure for brain injury, including concussions or mild traumatic brain injury (TBI).  Safety and prevention practices include wearing a helmet, wearing a seatbelt, no distracted driving, and no driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  Learn more.

March 9

A Concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury. It is a myth that the person must blackout or lose consciousness to sustain a concussion. Less than 10 percent of concussions have a loss of consciousness by the person. Once an individual sustains a concussion or more severe brain injury, he or she is at a greater risk of sustaining another brain injury.

Second-impact syndrome results from acute, often fatal brain swelling that occurs when a second concussion is sustained before complete recovery from a previous concussion. This is thought to cause vascular congestion and increased intracranial pressure, which can occur very rapidly and may be difficult or impossible to control. The risk of second-impact syndrome is higher in sports such as boxing, football, ice or roller hockey, soccer, baseball, basketball and snow skiing. Learn More.

Any athlete or person who has sustained a concussion or who shows signs of concussion should not be allowed to return to play or activities where impact is possible. Some signs of concussion include: disorientation, vomiting, headache, fatigue, ringing in ears, confusion and more. Learn More.

March 8

More than 32,000 Service Members were deployed from Missouri since 2001.  In today’s combats, 90% of Service Members survive their injuries and a greater percentage are coming home with a traumatic brain injury – a TBI.  Nationally, 33% percent of Veterans live in rural communities even though VA services are not readily available.

Almost 27 percent of Rural Veterans reported having one or more disabilities. These disabilities may impact work and life.  The Missouri AgrAbility Project may be a source of livelihood for Veterans with disabilities who are interested in farming, ranching or agribusiness. Learn more.

Nearly 40 percent of Veterans living in rural communities are 65 years or older. This population is at high risk for falls, which is a common cause of brain injury. Preventing falls is important.  Learn more.
Psychological symptoms are reported by 38 percent of Service Members.  This includes 31 percent of Marines and 49 percent of National Guard Members, according to Army One Source. The psychological issues rise significantly among Veterans with multiple deployments. Learn more.

March 7

Helmets can reduce the risk of a severe brain injury by 88 percent.  In 2015, 818 bicyclists died in crashes and another 26,000 might have prevented a brain injury by wearing a helmet. Children ages 5 to 14 are seen in emergency rooms for injuries related to riding a bike more than any other sport.  Cyclists of all ages at all times, should wear a properly-fitted, approved helmet.

A properly fitted helmet is the single most effective way to help prevent a brain injury while riding a bicycle.  However, only 45 percent of children under the age of 14 usually wear a helmet. Knowing how to fit a helmet is important.  Learn more.

Cycling on a country road can be picturesque, and a challenge. The bumpy roads, steep inclines, unpredictable wildlife and no shoulders on the roads can create an unexpected fall or collision.  Similar hazards can be encountered on recreational cycling paths and city streets too. Learn more.

Use your head — wear a helmet. Be an example for your children, by wearing a bicycle helmet every time you ride. Children should wear a bicycle helmet from the first time they sit on a tricycle or bicycle. These steps create a lifelong helmet wearer and help protect children from a brain injury. Learn more.

There are many reasons to ride a bicycle. It is fun, it is great exercise, it offers freedom and it is good for the environment. No matter if you are riding on a designated bike path, sidewalk, rural road or city street, wearing your bicycle helmet is important safety equipment.  Wear a properly fitted helmet that meets the standards of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission every time you ride. Learn more.

A properly fitting helmet should sit on top of your head in a level position. With the chin strap fastened, the helmet should not rock forward, backward or from side to side. When you open your mouth widely, the helmet should hug your head. Letting your child choose his or her helmet increases the likelihood they will wear the helmet.  Learn more.

March 6
Approximately 5.3 million Americans are living with a long-term disability resulting from brain injury.  Each year another 80,000 to 90,000 individuals become permanently disabled from a brain injury that can include limited mobility, short-term memory, inability to concentrate, poor balance, blurry or double vision, depression and chronic pain.

The 5.3 million Americans living with a long-term disability due to brain injury is about 2% of the total population of the United States. Learn more.

Since the disabilities from brain injury are often not readily apparent to the public – unlike a broken leg for example – brain injury is referred to as an invisible disability.  However, the permanent disabilities arising from cognitive, emotional, sensory and motor impairments can alter the person’s vocational goals and impact family and social relationships. Learn more.

Examples of disabilities due to brain injury can include short term memory, depression, limited mobility, difficulty thinking, processing new information or problem solving, anxiety, visual impairments and hearing loss. Education and support can help as you and your loved one adjust to life with brain injury. Learn more.

March 5

Hospitalizations and deaths from stroke continue to decrease since 2001.  However, stroke is still the fourth leading cause of death in rural counties of Missouri.  As an acquired brain injury, stroke can affect memory, thinking and reasoning, visual perception, balance and emotions of the injured person.  Sudden signs of a stroke are face drooping, arm weakness and speech difficulty.

The death rate from stroke is higher in rural counties of Missouri (47.9 per 100,000 rural Missouri residents compared to 42.9 for urban residents during the period 2005 through 2015).  Learn more.

F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the signs of a stroke.

Face Drooping – Is one side of the face drooping or is the smile uneven?

Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Can the person raise his or her arms? Is one arm hanging downward?

Speech Difficulty – Is the person able to answer simple questions? Does the person have slurred speech?

Time to call 9-1-1 – If the person shows any of these symptoms, call for emergency assistance immediately. Check the time to report when the symptoms were first noticed.  Learn more.

A stroke, sometimes called a brain attack or an acquired brain injury, occurs when a clot blocks the blood supply to the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts.  Following a stroke, physical challenges can include paralysis, seizures, spasticity and fatigue.  Communication is also impacted as well as changes in mood, outlook and emotional health.  These challenges are similar to TBI, as each brain injury is traumatic.  Learn more.

March 4

The average cost for medical care, rehabilitation, home modifications and other costs associated with brain injury can exceed $150,000 for the family.  The annual cost of brain injury to society exceeds $76.5 Billion dollars each year in the United States. This includes medical care, rehabilitation services, home modifications and loss of productivity.

The cost of brain injury depends on the severity and long-term effects of the brain injury. Rehabilitation and home, life and school support may be needed. Learn more.

The effects of brain injury that impact the cost for the family and society include changes to cognitive functioning, physical abilities, perceptions and emotions. Learn more.

According to Research America, CDC research shows that, if adopted, new emergency TBI guidelines could save $288 million in medical and rehabilitation costs and $3.8 billion in indirect costs such as support for the cognitive, physical, perceptional and emotional long-term effects of brain injury. Learn more.

March 3

Every 18 seconds someone sustains a brain injury.  In the United States each year, an estimated 52,000 people die from brain injury. Another 275,000 are hospitalized for brain injury and 1.365 million individuals are treated and released. More than 50 percent of deaths due to TBI take place within 10 minutes of the incident.

Brain injury is a public health issue that contributes to a substantial number of deaths and permanent disabilities each year. Learn more.

Medical care immediately following the injury incident focuses on reducing the risk of further damage to the brain, when survival is hopeful, possible or likely. Learn more.

Preventing concussion, recognizing symptoms, seeking medical evaluation, and following concussion guidelines are all vital for full recovery and the prevention of more serious effects.  Learn more.
Each year more than 1.7 million individuals sustain a traumatic brain injury and another 917,000 have a stroke or other acquired brain injury, resulting in at least one person sustaining a brain injury by the time you read today’s Brain Injury Fact of the Day. Learn more.

March 2

A traumatic brain injury is an intrusion, blow or jolt to the head or body that interrupts the normal operation of the brain.  Notice, you do not have to hit your head to sustain a brain injury. Often times, there is no visible damage to the head or skull, but the changes in cognitive function and abilities impact daily living for the person injured and their family members.

Traumatic brain injury is defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Learn more.

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. Learn more.

A coup contrecoup injury is when the brain first strikes one side of the skull during the impact and then bounces back against the opposite side of the skull.  A generalized injury to the brain can occur when there are stretching or shearing forces applied to the entire brain. Learn more.

The brain is responsible for everything we do – it controls movements, sensations, speech, thoughts, and emotions. The affects of brain injury fall within four areas – cognitive functioning, physical abilities, perceptions, and psychological health.  Every brain injury is different. Learn more.

March 1

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month.   Brain injury changes life in an instant for the person injured as well as his or her family. Brain injury can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime – it does not discriminate. Military personnel, farmers, senior adults, young children and teenagers are all high risk populations for brain injury.

More than 18,000 Military Personnel received a medical diagnosis of a traumatic brain injury in 2016, according to the Department of Defense.  Learn more.

In rural Missouri between 2009 and 2013, there were 962,288 Emergency Room (ER) visits due to unintentional injuries, including brain injuries. Learn more.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), children 0 to 4 years of age had the highest rates of TBI-related emergency department visits of any age group, typically almost twice the rate of teens and young adults, 15 to 24 year-olds. Learn more. When brain injury happens to more than 17,000 individuals and families in Missouri each year, you can feel alone.  Learn more about BIA-MO Support Groups to help find answers and support. Learn more.

How To Help
  • Click on the online donation link.

Make Online Donation
  • Mail a donation to:

    Donation Mailing Address
    Brain Injury Association of Missouri
    2265 Schuetz Rd
    Saint Louis, MO  63146-3409


View Ways to Participate


Tue 19

Springfield Support Group

February 19 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Springfield MO
Wed 20

Independence, Male Survivors Group

February 20 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Independence MO
Wed 20

St. Louis (Northwest) Support Group

February 20 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
St. Louis MO
United States

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