March 2017: Traumatic Brain Injury Prevention Awareness Month

WHEREAS, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a leading cause of injury-related death and disability in the United States. Traumatic brain injuries may potentially affect cognitive function, motor function, sensation and emotional function; and,

WHEREAS, the total cost of emergency department visits, hospitalizations and deaths related to traumatic brain injuries, either alone or in combination with other injuries, exceeds $82 billion annually in the United States, which includes medical and work loss costs; and,

WHEREAS, falls are the leading cause of TBI, by 40 percent in the United States, and cause 55 percent of all traumatic brain injuries among children aged 0 to 14 years, and 81 percent of all traumatic brain injuries among adults aged 65 and older; and,

WHEREAS, other leading and preventable causes of TBI include being struck by or against an object or person, motor vehicle crashes and assaults, including abusive head trauma; and,

WHEREAS, observable signs of TBI may include, but are not limited to, appearing dazed or stunned, forgetting an instruction, moving clumsily, answering questions slowly, losing consciousness, even briefly, showing mood, behavior or personality changes, and being unable to recall events prior to and/or after a hit or fall; and,

WHEREAS, prevention strategies can greatly reduce the risk for traumatic brain injuries and death. These include removing hazards in and around the home, keeping sports safe with adherence to rules of play and use of protective gear, using extra caution in bad weather while walking and driving, among many others; and,

WHEREAS, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will continue to collect data to monitor incidents of TBI and related deaths and work with partners to raise awareness to prevent these incidents, and share information about injury prevention strategies;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim March 2017 as Traumatic Brain Injury Prevention Awareness Month in Michigan.