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March 2020: Brain Injury Awareness Month

WHEREAS, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and acquired brain injury (ABI) are leading causes of injury-related death and disability in the United States; 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 $76.5 billion annually in the United States, and the estimated medical and work costs of treating strokes exceed $53.9 billion annually; and,


WHEREAS, brain injuries may potentially affect cognitive function, motor function, sensation, and emotional function; and,


WHEREAS, there were 1,756 traumatic brain injury-related fatalities in Michigan in 2018, and nearly 74 percent of these were male; and,


WHEREAS, there were 26,565 emergency department out-patient visits for traumatic brain injuries in 2018 in Michigan; and,


WHEREAS, falls are the leading cause of TBI (40 percent) in the United States, and cause more than half (55 percent) of all TBIs among children aged 0 to 14 years and 81 percent of all TBIs among adults aged 65 and older; and,


WHEREAS, other leading and preventable causes of traumatic brain injury include being struck by or against an object or person, motor vehicle crashes, substance misuse and assaults, including shaken baby or abusive head trauma; and,


WHEREAS, observable signs of traumatic brain injury 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 changes, 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, and these include removing hazards in and around the home, keeping sports safe with adherence to rules of play, use of protective gear including helmets, using extra caution in bad weather while walking, and practicing safe driving including seat belt use, among many others; and,


WHEREAS, traumatic brain injuries are a largely preventable community health problem; and,


WHEREAS, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will continue to collect data to monitor incidents of traumatic and acquired brain injury and related deaths, work with partners like the Brain Injury Association of Michigan to raise awareness to support people with brain injuries and their families, and share information about injury prevention strategies;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim March 2020 as Brain Injury Awareness Month in Michigan and call upon our citizens and interested groups to observe the month with appropriate activities that promote awareness of brain injuries.