What Is TBI?

Brain ScanTraumatic brain injury, also known as TBI, is defined as an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force resulting in total or partial disability or impairment. TBI frequently results from motor vehicle crashes or from falls when the head abruptly stops moving and the brain smashes into the hard walls  of the skull.

Most people with TBI do not “look” injured. Because the injured brain is not visible to the naked eye, problems with memory, planning and organizational abilities, and/or judgment often appear in subtle ways. In some cases,  even a minor bump on the head can cause ongoing problems and lead to losing a job or problems with family life.

People with serious brain injuries may need constant supervision and help in managing money, doing household chores, and sometimes bathing and dressing. Because the injuries are not always visible, people with brain injuries may have trouble qualifying for state and federal assistance programs.

Facts about TBI

  • In the US, an estimated 1.7 million people sustain a TBI annually.
  • Each year TBI contributes to a substantial number of deaths and cases of permanent disability.
  • About 75% of TBI’s that occur are concussions or other forms of mild traumatic brain injury.
  • In Tennessee, approximately 8,000 people are admitted to the hospital for traumatic brain injury each year.
  • In every age group, TBI rates are higher for males than females.
  • Children ages 0 to 4 years, adolescents aged 15 to 19 years, and adults aged 65 years and older are most likely to
    sustain a TBI.
  • In Tennessee, the three leaders causes of TBI are falls, motor vehicle accidents and homicide or violent injuries.

The TBI Program

The Traumatic Brain Injury program was established by the Tennessee General Assembly to address the needs of those individuals who have sustained brain injuries, as well as their family members and primary caregivers. Program staff are available to respond to questions, make referrals, and provide education and training. The initial contact can be the first link in a chain of support for a survivor or family member. An information clearinghouse and toll-free telephone number provides all Tennesseans with access to current data and information.

For more information about traumatic brain injury and the TBI program, please call: 1-800-882-0611

or send your name and address to:

Traumatic Brain Injury Program
HSM 4th floor CHB
425 Fifth Avenue North
Nashville, TN 37243