Traumatic brain injury is one of the most significant public health problems facing the United States, and it is the leading cause of death among young people. An estimated 1.7 million brain injuries occur each year, with 75% of injuries falling into the mild category.
Mild TBI (mTBI) occurs when an impact or forceful motion of the head results in a brief alteration of mental status, such as confusion or disorientation, loss of memory for events immediately before or after the injury, or brief loss of consciousness. Due to the large number of cases, mTBI accounts for almost half of the total economic impact among all levels of TBI severity (mild, moderate and severe). Estimated costs of mTBI approach $17 billion annually, including medical care, rehabilitation, and lost productivity. The actual costs are likely higher since few states conduct emergency department-based surveillance, and current efforts do not capture data about persons with mTBI who receive no medical treatment.
Fortunately, recent approaches in mTBI research, including prospective assessment and surveillance of injury evident in recent sports concussion studies, now provide innovative means for identifying and caring for mTBI cases. This project utilizes the Health IMPACTS for Florida network for
(1) Implementing an evidence-based concussion assessment and management program to assess the relationship between health risk factors and injury susceptibility, severity, and recovery for youth participating in organized sports activities in Florida communities
(2) Teaching community physicians and medical students to apply evidence-based principles for recognition, assessment, and management of concussion and mTBI risk in children and youth
(3) Providing education modules for parents, coaches, physicians/healthcare professionals and the general public that are designed to reduce long-term consequences of mTBI