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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Brain Trauma Foundation?

Brain Trauma Foundation (BTF) is a national non-profit organization founded in 1986 whose mission is to translate neuroscience into effective solutions.

How does Brain Trauma Foundation make a difference?

We develop, maintain and implement best practice Guidelines, as well as educate medical personnel on TBI. When medical personnel put these Guidelines into practice there is a 50% decrease in deaths.

Do you have a downloadable brochure?

Yes. Please click here.

Why do the Guidelines matter?

Research has proven that not all brain damage occurs at the moment of impact, but rather evolves over the ensuing hours and days after the initial injury due to brain swelling and low oxygen blood flow to the brain. In most cases, this secondary damage can be controlled when scientific, evidence-based care is provided in compliance with BTF’s TBI guidelines.

The implementation of BTF Guidelines has been shown to decrease mortality, improve outcomes, reduce days in the ICU, hospital, and rehabilitation, and reduce costs. By educating healthcare professionals to use these Guidelines, thousands of lives could be saved each year in the U.S., and many more would be spared lifelong disabilities.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when a sudden trauma, often a blow or jolt to the head, causes damage to the brain. The severity of TBI can range from mild (a concussion) to severe (coma). A concussion may cause temporary confusion and headache, while a severe TBI can be fatal. Levels of brain trauma are characterized by the following:

• Mild (Concussion): A person with a mild TBI, which is also called a concussion, is awake after a force to the head, but may experience a loss of consciousness for a few seconds, or minutes, or not at all. Typical results include attention and balance impairments as well as symptoms such as headache, dizziness, and vision problems.

• Moderate: A person with a moderate TBI is often lethargic with their eyes open only to stimulation.

• Severe (Coma): A person with a severe TBI is typically in a coma state for more than six hours.

A TBI does not include a stroke, an infection in the brain or a brain tumor.

Who is affected by TBI?

TBI is the leading cause of death and disability in children and adults ages 1 to 44. Populations that are most affected are youth and elderly who have falls. Each year about 2.5 million individuals have TBIs of which approximately 50,000 result in death, and over 80,000 suffer permanent disability.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading causes of TBI are:

• Falls (28%)
• Motor vehicle crashes (20%)
• Being hit by or colliding with an object (19%)
• Assaults (11%)
• Others (12%)

Why does this matter?

Annually, about 2.5 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury, which can lead to disabilities, and death. BTF strives to lower this number, and improve the recovery process for these individuals by intervening early with proven, evidence-based guidelines.

How can I help or get involved?

You can help us by donating to our foundation to help us fund the research, education and outreach, and overall aiding to improve the outcomes for patients suffering from brain injury.To stay updated with BTF, you can also join our mailing list, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

What are the citations for the myths/facts listed on the website and in your collateral?

The costs to society for care and lost productivity due to brain trauma are enormous and estimated at $76.5 billion annually.

Coronado BG, McGuire LC, Sarmiento K, Bell J, Lionbarger MR, Jones D, et al. In: CDC Injury Center at 20 years: celebrating the past, protecting the future. Journal of Safety Research. 2012;43(4):299-307.


Acquired brain trauma is the second most prevalent disability in the U.S., estimated at 13.5 million Americans.

Schiller JS, Lucas JW, Ward BW, Peregoy JA. Summary health statistics for U.S. adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2010. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Stat. 2012;10(252).


According to the CDC, an estimated 2.5 million people sustain a TBI annually.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Report to Congress on Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: 
 Epidemiology and Rehabilitation. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention. Atlanta, GA.


TBI is a contributing factor to a third of all injury-related deaths in the U.S.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Report to Congress on Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: 
 Epidemiology and Rehabilitation. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention. Atlanta, GA.


A study by the CDC indicates that 2,651,581 children 19 years or younger were treated for sports- and recreation-related injuries between 2001 and 2009.

Gilchrist J, Thomas KE, Xu L, McGuire LC, Coronado VG. Nonfatal sports and recreation related traumatic brain injuries among children and adolescents treated in emergency departments in the United States, 2001-2009. MMWR. 2011;60(39):1337-1342.


Subjective complaints of sleep disturbances have been reported in 70 percent of TBI outpatients.

Chesnut RM, Carney N, Maynard H, Patterson P, Mann NC, Helfand M. Rehabilitation for Traumatic Brain Injury. Evidence Report No. 2 (Prepared under Contract 290-97- 0018 to Oregon Health Sciences University). Rockville, MD: Agency for Health Care Policy and Research; February 1999.

Max W, MacKenzie EJ, Rice DP. Head injuries: costs and consequences. J Head Trauma Rehab. 1991;6:76-91.

McLean A Jr, Dikmen S, Temkin N, Wyler AR, Gale JL. Psychosocial functioning at 1 month after head injury. Neurosurgery. 1984;14(4):393-399.


Presently, over 5.2 million individuals in the U.S. are disabled due to the myriad of sequelae of a TBI.

National Institutes of Health. Rehabilitation of persons
with traumatic brain injury. National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference Statement Online 1998 October 26-28 [cited July, 2014]; 16(1):1-41. http:// consensus.nih.gov/1998/1998traumaticbraininjury109html. htm. 1998.


Early intervention and management of mTBI is the most effective means of reducing the level of disability experienced by the injured person.

McCrea MA. Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Postconcussion Syndrome: The New Evidence Base for Diagnosis and Treatment. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2008.


Most individuals who sustain mTBI will recover their functional abilities within 2–4 weeks after injury.

Maas AI, Stocchetti N, Bullock R. Moderate and severe traumatic brain injury in adults. Lancet Neurol. 2008; 7(8): 728–741. 



Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of death and disability in the United States, contributing to about 30% of all injury deaths.

Faul M, Xu L, Wald MM, Coronado VG. Traumatic brain injury in the United States: emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; 2010.


80-90% of concussions resolve within 7-10 days. (Source: Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport – the 4th International Conference on Concussion in Sport held in Zurich, November 2012) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26546304)


Female athletes have 1.4 times higher overall concussion injury rates compared to males (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26950073)


Cardio-exercise activity is a tool in concussion recovery.

Click here for PDF of American Academy of Pediatrics article or review the following:

http://www.athleticbusiness.com/high-school/can-ca..., https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201401/physical-activity-may-be-the-best-medicine-concussion, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3435903/

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140127164557.htm, http://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2013/03/001.html