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ABI Facts & Info

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Brain Injury Fact Sheet

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High Cost of Brain Injury


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the number one killer and disabler of young Canadians under the age of 40.

  • The majority are young men between the ages of 15 and 30;
  • Males experience brain injury twice as often as females;
  • More than half the people with brain injuries are under the age of 20;
  • The highest incidence rate is in the 15 to 19 age category.

Every year, 50,000 Canadians sustain brain injuries.

  • Every year, 16,000 Ontario residents sustain traumatic brain injuries;
  • Each day in Ontario, 44 individuals sustain aa brain injury.

Motor Vehicle Collisions account for over half of all acquired brain injuries.

  • Every five minutes someone is injured;
  • Every seven hours, someone dies;
  • Other causes include falls, illness, work-related injuries, sports and recreation injuries, and interpersonal crime.

Every year in Canada, over 60 children will die as a result of bicycle related injuries, the majority from brain injury.

  • Over 5,000 children will be seriously injured
    • 75 percent of all cycling deaths involve brain injuries.
    • Long-term consequences of brain injury affect the lives of about 26,000 individuals.
  • 22 percent of people with catastrophic injuries never leave their homes;
  • In Ontario, 92 percent of men and 100 percent of women who sustain brain injury NEVER return to full-time employment.
    • Traumatic brain injuries are PREDICTABLE and usually PREVENTABLE.
  • Bicyclists wearing helmets reduce the risk of brain injury by 88 percent.
    • Families provide the majority of care for people with brain injuries.
    • The brain in vulnerable to various types of injuries.
  • The human skull provides little protection, as it less than 1/4 inch thick and has a tendency to crack under pressure.
    • Damaged brain cells DO NOT REPAIR or REPLACE themselves. Now more than ever, people are surviving brain injuries because of improvements in medical and trauma care, as well as ongoing safety improvements in motor vehicles, workplace safety, and sporting equipment standards.
  • Many who would have died from their brain injury, now survive with diminished capacity for living.

Traumatic brain injury exacts a toll of billions of dollars a year through:

  • Costs of neurosurgery;
  • Long periods in coma or low level state;
  • Extensive periods of therapy;
  • Loss of productivity and employment over the normal life span by the person injured, who is typically a young adult.

Cost of caring for people with acquired brain injury (ABI) is born by a variety of payers:

  • Federal, provincial, and municipal governments;
  • Private insurance;
  • Workers' compensation;
  • Private individuals.
    • People who have survived a brain injury are often faced with a patchwork of brain injury services.
  • Most provinces have no central policy or planning department for people with acquired brain injury;
  • Services are spread over many ministries includinh Health, Education & Training, Insurance, Workers' Compensation, and Community and Social Services;
  • Many aspects of brain injury are under provincial jurisdiction.
    • Lack of adequate or appropriate rehabilitation / post trauma treatment.
  • Many Ontario residents with brain injuries received, until very recently, their rehabilitation in the U.S. Centres, paid for by the Ministry of Health (MOH).
  • Seven centres in the U.S. were identified as "Preferred Providers" for Ontario residents.
  • According to the a href:>Ontario Brain Injury Association data, MOH spent $23 million in 1992, budgeted $27 million for 1993 for out of country, non-hospital based brain injury rehabilitation.



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