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October 16, 2003 - $1 Million Settlement in TBI Case

October is Brain Injury Awareness Month across the United States and this year's focus is on awareness and prevention among children and young adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 17,000 children (19 years of age and under) are killed each year as a result of an injury and thousands of others are left with a permanent disability. Of all types of injury, traumatic brain injury (TBI) continues to be the leading cause of death and disability among children, adolescents and young adults. The Brain Injury Association of America, in an effort to educate children about the dangers, signs and symptoms of TBI, is distributing awareness and prevention materials as part of a month-long awareness campaign - I.M Brainy - R You?

As the leading causes of brain injury in the United States are related to transportation, the current focus of the I.M. Brainy Awareness and Prevention kit is "being safe on the go." Lessons emphasize motor vehicle safety, pedestrian safety and helmet safety. The National Resource Council and other authorities have demonstrated that good safety practices have the best chance of becoming habitual if they are presented very early in life and in an age-appropriate manner.

"Evidence suggests that good safety habits may also become lifelong skills if they are presented before formal schooling begins, in the preschool and kindergarten years," according to Allan I. Bergman, President and CEO of the Brain Injury Association of America. "As we bring our message of brain-building, safety and prevention to preschoolers and work with parents, teachers, educational systems, day-care providers and anyone whose work affects the lives of our children, we believe that the long-term impact of our preschool program will result in fewer incidences of preventable TBI at all age levels."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that at least 1.5 million Americans sustain a TBI annually of which more than 230,000 are hospitalized and survive and 80,000 experience the onset of life-long disabilities. Currently, there are 5.3 million Americans living with a disability because of brain injury and the cost to society is estimated at $48.3 billion annually.

Each year, more Americans will experience brain injury than HIV/AIDS, breast cancer, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury combined. Despite staggering incidence rates, brain injury remains largely unseen by the American population while awareness and prevention are key to lowering occurrence.

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