This March, the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa join the United States Brain Injury Alliance in promoting Brain Injury Awareness Month. This nationwide network will spread the word and raise awareness on brain injury prevention, recognition, and response.
“As the state’s lead agency on brain injury, the Iowa Department of Public Health is working to reduce the burden of brain injury through prevention strategies, advancements in health, and improvements in the quality of life for Iowans living with brain injury,” said Maggie Ferguson, Brain Injury and Disability Program Manager at IDPH.
A brain injury is a condition where there is a temporary or long-term change in brain function resulting from an injury. These injuries are most often brought on by a trauma to the head and may include a stroke or concussion. Falls are the leading cause of brain injury, in Iowa and nationally.
According to the CDC, an estimated 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury each year. Of those individuals, 52,000 will have injuries resulting in death, 275,000 are hospitalized, and 1.4 million are treated and released from an emergency department. Adults over 65 years old have the highest rates of traumatic brain injury-related hospitalizations and are more likely to die from the injury. Adolescents and young adults have the highest rates of motor vehicle-related traumatic brain injuries. In Iowa, more than 95,000 people are living with a long-term disability from brain injury.
“Together with the Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa,” said Ferguson, “our goal is to provide quality information and education as well as strengthen the services available for those affected by brain injury.”
For more information on brain injury and to access free resources, contact the Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa at 1-855-444-6443 or visit www.biaia.org.