Medical Disability Society Working Party Report on the Management
of Traumatic Brain Injury (1998) defines Traumatic Brain Injury
(TBI) as a “Brain injury caused by a trauma to the head
(including effects upon the brain of other possible complications
of injury; notably hypoxemia (reduced oxygen in the blood), hypotension
(low blood pressure) and intracerebral haematoma (bleed))” i.e.
damage caused initially from an outside force but including the
complications that may follow this force.
Traumatic brain injury is often incorrectly referred to as Acquired
Brain Injury but this form of brain injury reports to that caused
by conditions such as strokes and cerebral palsy. Traumatic brain
injury is a prolonged chain of events from the effects of the initial injury to subsequent secondary
and tertiary events happening over a time-course of minutes,
hours, months and even years in some cases. Often the effects
of TBI only become apparent as a result of new challenges to
the patient and during the ageing process.
Traumatic brain injury is a major disorder of public health significantly
affecting physical, cognitive and psychosocial functioning. It
is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide especially
in young adults and children and the leading cause of seizure
disorders. In Europe there are approximately 1,000,000 admissions
per year of which 300,000 are directly as a result of sporting
injuries (including 20,000 from winter sports). The estimated
published incidence rate is 100 per 100,000 population meaning
approximately 59,000 new injuries per year in the UK. The highest
incidence rate falls in the 15-24 age group, those over 75 years
of age and a slight peak in children below 5 years of age. In
the US every 21 seconds someone suffers a head injury. Prevalence
rates (total number of existing patients living with TBI) in the UK range from 450,000
to 1,160,000 estimated patients. Because mild TBI is very often
unreported and therefore significantly under-diagnosed the extent
of TBI is probably much greater.
Traumatic brain injury has huge economic consequences; it is
estimated that in the US the cost of acute care and subsequent
rehabilitation of new patients per year reaches $9-10 billion.
In addition, estimates for the life-time cost per severe TBI
patient are considered to vary between $600,000 and $1,875,000.
The total cost to the US Healthcare System was estimated to be
$56 billion in 1995.
The principle causes of brain injury are through vehicular accidents
including motorbikes, bicycles and pedestrian collisions (50%); falls, especially in the elderly and young
children (27%); acts of violence (20%) and sports injuries (3%).
Two thirds of brain injuries occur in the under 30 year old age
group and two thirds of brain injury survivors live a normal
The brain injury was a result of a near-drowning accident in 1994. Scotty experienced severe spasticity, spasms, and constricted upper airways and lungs as a result of the brain injury.
OUTCOME AFTER RECEIVING ITB THERAPY: Spasticity and spasms significantly reduced; professional nursing care, oxygen intake, tube feedings, and oral medications for spasticity no longer necessary; dramatic improvements in breathing, eating, and sleeping; ability to sit in wheelchair and car seat; ability to go to school and participate in family activities; has been hospitalised only 3 times since receiving ITB Therapy.
COMMENT: “After the surgery, I felt as if the world had been lifted off my shoulders. I cried in gratitude when I saw Scotty sitting on his own for the first time since his accident.”