Brain Injury Awareness Month falls in the month of March in the U.S. These injuries comprise fall-related damage to the brain, forceful impact to the head, or penetration by sharp objects. This is an issue that especially affects older people, with a higher proportion of fall-related brain injuries resulting in death among people above 75 years of age. At least 2.8 million people in the U.S. sustain traumatic brain injuries per year. Most people are at a loss of how to be around these injured people, which is part of the reason why Brain Injury Awareness month was created.
History of Brain Injury Awareness Month
The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has designated March to raise awareness about what is a significant cause of death and impairment in America. According to their site, there are more than 5.3 million people in the U.S., including children, who are living with permanent brain injuries. BIAA, therefore, hopes to spread awareness about the fact that brain injuries can lead to a permanent alteration of one’s life.
Brain injuries are classified into two broad categories if they are sustained after birth. In other words, when they are not related to birth or heredity, Acquired Brain Injury is a result of internal malfunctioning. This can be a tumor or lack of oxygen or some such condition that injures the brain. It is also called non-traumatic brain injury. Traumatic Brain Injury is a result of external force or impact.
Brain Injury Awareness Month seeks to shed light on various aspects of brain injury that BIAA tackles as its mission. Established in 1980 as the National Head Injury Foundation (NHIF), it changed its name to BIAA in 1995. It calls itself the oldest and biggest organization that works on the topic of brain injury in the U.S. It tackles various aspects of policy and advocacy, law and justice, and medical response and research as they relate to brain injury. It also works in the field of education, advocating for the inclusion of resources on brain awareness and injury prevention in schools, and even working with the U.S. Department of Education. March is used as a time to raise awareness about these broader, structural aspects that we may not think about when we think of brain injury.
Brain Injury Awareness Month timeline
The practice of drilling holes in the skull, or trepanation, is used to treat brain injuries.
“The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine” is the first Chinese text to describe the system of acupuncture, which is now recognized for brain injury treatment.
For the first time in the U.S., the National Institutes of Health releases the results of their ‘National Head and Spinal Cord Injury’ survey.
President Bill Clinton signs The Traumatic Brain Injury Act in 1996 to encourage research and development in the field.
Brain Injury Awareness Month FAQs
What is the most common type of brain injury?
Among traumatic brain Injuries, concussions are the most common. They are caused when the brain is impacted by blows or wounds, and the person typically feels dazed if they retain consciousness. It may go undiagnosed if proper care is not taken.
What are some causes of non-traumatic brain injuries?
An acquired or non-traumatic brain injury may be the result of stroke, diseases such as meningitis or encephalitis, seizures, electric shocks, tumors, lead or carbon monoxide poisoning, drowning, and choking among other causes.
What is the ‘More Than My Brain Injury’ campaign?
The ‘More Than My Brain Injury’ campaign gives individuals a chance to overcome those definitions, allowing them to tell their own stories and change the narrative of their lives.
How to Observe Brain Injury Awareness Month
Read about the topic
Organizations like BIAA have many online resources for the public, patients, and families on several topics such as brain injury types, prevention, treatment as well as legal options. There are even social media-friendly posters and documents that one can download and share from their site.
Find a local chapter
There are also state chapters of the BIAA in the U.S. The contact details are available on their site, so you can get in touch with them and find out more about their upcoming events and activities. You will also find statewide resources that you may want to share with someone or on social media platforms.
Learn policy priorities
There are policy changes that we can advocate for to reduce cases of traumatic brain injuries and support research for better treatment and care in the field. There is even a Congressional Task Force on the matter. This is the perfect time for us to learn how to be part of a larger change that can impact the lives of people.
5 Facts About The Brain That Will Astonish You
The 1990s and the brain
President George W. Bush designates the 1990s as the decade of the brain.
Most brain injuries are from falls
Almost half of all brain injuries (48%) are fall-related.
Fall-related deaths have increased
A study showed that fall-related deaths increased in older people from 2007 to 2016 and another showed an annual increase in 2020.
Men have higher fall rates
In the same study, it was seen that 73 out of 100,000 men had fall-related deaths as opposed to 54 for women, perhaps owing to differing occupational or domestic chores.
Brain awareness has a ribbon
Blue is the color of the ribbon designated for brain awareness.
Why Brain Injury Awareness Month is Important
It is a brainy topic
There is so much to learn about the brain, including how to protect it and care for it in case of trauma. The topic is vast and has real consequences for millions of Americans. March is an opportunity to raise our own awareness about the issue.
It is relevant to all of us
Some professions carry the risk of greater brain injury than others. However, this is an issue that could affect any of us in the wrong circumstance. We need to be equipped to protect our heads, prevent injury, and also be able to locate the right resources in case we need to in the event of an injury.
It’s a chance to advocate
Organizations like the BIAA have many resources to encourage aspiring fundraisers and general advocates to get started. They also have connections with different government departments. This is a topic that has received the government’s attention and is ripe for further progress.
Brain Injury Awareness Month dates