Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and disability in children and adults ranging in age from 1 to 44. TBI is a contributing factor to 30% of all injury-related deaths in the United States.  And in 2010, approximately 2.5 million people sustained a traumatic brain injury.  The truth about traumatic brain injuries can be surprising.
Every year, approximately 52,000 deaths occur from traumatic brain injury. Brain injuries are most often caused by motor vehicle crashes, sports injuries or falls at work or in the hospital.
A TBI is caused by trauma, a bump, blow or jolt to the head. A TBI may also be caused by a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Not all blows to the head cause a TBI. However, when a TBI occurs, the results can be devastating. It is estimated that 5.3 million Americans, 2% of the U.S. population, currently live with disabilities caused by a TBI.
The Potential Effects of a TBI
The severity of a TBI may range from a brief change in mental status or consciousness, to “severe.” A TBI can cause a wide range of functional short- or long-term changes affecting any of the following:
- Thinking – impacting memory and reasoning
- Sensation - impacting touch, taste, and smell
- Language - making communication, expression, and understanding more difficult
- Emotion - causing depression, anxiety, personality changes, aggression, acting out, and social inappropriateness.
Severe TBI’s Change Lives
A severe TBI not only impacts the life of an individual and their family, but it also has a large economic cost for their community. According to the CDC, the estimated economic cost of TBI in 2010, including medical costs, is estimated to be $76.5 billion. Additionally, the cost of fatal TBIs and TBIs requiring hospitalization, many of which are severe, account for approximately 90% of the total TBI medical costs. 
Types of Severe TBI's
There are two types of severe TBI:
Closed – an injury to the brain caused by jostling the brain within the skull. Closed TBIs can be caused by falls, car crashes or being struck in the head.
Penetrating – an injury caused by a foreign object entering the skull, such as a sharp object.
Closed TBI can be just as damaging as a penetrating injury. Although you cannot see the injury site or scars, the effects on those injured are easily recognizable.
The CDC is presently conducting research aimed at assisting in the treatment of those injured in effort to minimize the harm. The CDC will look to develop triage guidelines for the initial treatment of those suffering from a TBI and doctors continue their work with assisting TBI patients in learning to live again.
 National Vital Statistics System (NVSS), 2006–2010. Data source is maintained by the CDC National Center for Health Statistics.
 National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS), 2010; National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS), 2010; National Vital Statistics System (NVSS), 2010. All data sources are maintained by the CDC National Center for Health Statistics.
 Finkelstein E, Corso P, Miller T and associates. The Incidence and Economic Burden of Injuries in the United States. New York (NY): Oxford University Press; 2006. And Coronado, McGuire, Faul, Sugerman, Pearson. The Epidemiology and Prevention of TBI 2012.