March is National Brain Injury Awareness month. Traumatic brain injuries affect millions of Americans across the country, according to the Brain Injury Association of America. Arizona is no exception.
A recent article in The Daily Courier highlights the prevalence of brain injuries in our state. The rates of injury in two leading types of accidents – car crashes and falls – are greater than the national average.
It’s difficult to pinpoint why Arizona has such a high incidence of brain injuries. The article mentions the region’s significant elder population as a possible factor. As we noted in a recent blog post, baby boomers and snowbirds flock to Arizona every year, hitting the road not just in their cars but also on motorcycles. The state’s climate is ideal for year-round bikers and cyclists.
Seniors involved in traffic accidents may be more vulnerable to brain injuries, especially if their health is already compromised. They are also more likely to suffer from serious falls in homes or senior care facilities.
Regardless of how traumatic brain injuries occur, they affect not just the victims and their loved ones, but also society as a whole. Brain injuries nationwide cost an estimated $60 billion every year. Apart from financial considerations, survivors face a long road toward recovery, and they often suffer from lasting physical and cognitive impairments.
Improvements in the areas of treatment and prevention may help curb the incidence of head injuries in Arizona. Advances in diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitation tools provide glimmers of hope for those who sustain these debilitating injuries. Yet, there’s always room for better – and more cost-effective – measures, especially when it comes to prevention efforts. That’s what National Brain Injury Awareness month is all about.