There’s a reason that traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been called a “silent epidemic.”

The damage caused by many brain injuries is invisible. There’s often no injury that you can see. But TBIs are also among the most devastating injuries a person can suffer – and they affect countless families across the nation.

Just how common are brain injuries? The facts will stun you.

The Most Alarming Brain Injury Statistics

  1. Brain injuries happen every 23 seconds in the United States. That’s more than 3,756 brain injuries every single day. Brain Injury Statistics
    Source: The Brain Injury Alliance of Utah
  2. Around 2,400,000 Americans sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year.
    Source: The Brain Injury Association of America
  3. Today there are 5,300,000 Americans living with a TBI-related disability. That’s more than two percent of the entire U.S. population.
    Source: The International Brain Injury Association
  4. Brain injuries leave 80,000 Americans with long-term disabilities each year.
    Source: The Brain Injury Alliance of Utah
  5. Traumatic brain injuries kill 153 Americans every day.
    Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  6. Close to 50,000 Americans die from a brain injury every single year.
    Source: CDC
  7. Traumatic brain injuries play a part in 30 percent of all injury-related deaths – from all causes and all types of injuries.
    Source: CDC
  8. Globally, traumatic brain injuries kill 10,000,000 people every year.
    Source: The National Center for Biotechnology Information
  9. Already, brain injury is a prevalent cause of death and disability worldwide. By 2020, experts believe traumatic brain injury will become the third leading cause of death and disability in the world.
    Source: The National Center for Biotechnology Information
  10. In the United States, more people under age 34 die from TBIs than from all other causes of death combined.
    Source: The Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon
  11. More Americans have died from a TBI in the relatively short time since the start of the 21st century than in every single United States war in history – combined.
    Source: The Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon
  12. Victims of brain injuries in the U.S. spend a combined total of 3,500,000 days hospitalized each year. That means every single day of the year, an average of more than 9,500 TBI patients are in the hospital.
    Source: The Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon
  13. Brain injuries are so devastating that they can keep victims out of work for years – even decades. In fact, in a single year, brain injuries account for a combined total loss of more than 35,000 years of productive work in America.
    Source: The Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon
  14. TBIs cost the United States $76,500,000,000 every year.
    Source: CDC
  15. Even one year after the brain injury, up to 40 percent of TBI victims have at least one unmet need for rehabilitative services – services like working on memory, stress management, temper management, and job skill improvement.
    Source: BrainLine
  16. The costs to treat a severe TBI can rise above $3,000,000 – sometimes as high as $9,000,000 over the course of a lifetime.
    Source: Research America, The Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon
  17. Sadly, many effects of a brain injury resolve slowly – if they improve at all. Most patients with severe TBIs need between five and 10 years of intensive rehab therapy – and even then, they continue to require long-term follow-up care.
    Source: The Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon

TBIs Behind the Numbers

Coping with a brain injuryThe massive numbers that describe the traumatic brain injury epidemic tell only a fraction of the full story. Every one of these brain injury statistics represents real people – people who have lost their lives to a TBI, people who have survived but suffered life-changing disabilities, and people whose families will never be the same.

There are so many aspects of brain injury that you can’t simply put a number on. Statistics can’t capture the reality of how difficult life becomes after a brain injury or how hard it is to lose your independence.

The best thing individuals and families that have been touched by a brain injury can do is ask for help.

  • Look for support groups for both patients and caregivers, where people who are going through a similar situation can help you come up with solutions or simply feel less alone.
  • Find funding opportunities that can help you afford the medical care you need to recover. You can apply for state funds or assistance from charitable organizations.
  • If your brain injury happened because of someone else – like a reckless driver, a careless property owner, or a negligent doctor – then you might be legally eligible for compensation. In this case, a brain injury lawyer could be an advocate, someone who helps you get the money you need and access to the highest quality medical care available.

No matter how your brain injury occurred, you’re more than a statistic. You deserve help to get through this – so you can make the best recovery possible.