Traumatic brain injury (TBI) continues to be an enormous public health problem, even with modern medicine in the 21st century. Most patients with TBI (75-80%) have mild head injuries; the remaining injuries are divided equally between moderate and severe categories.
The cost to society of TBI is staggering, from both an economic and an emotional standpoint. Almost 100% of persons with severe head injury and as many as two thirds of those with moderate head injury will be permanently disabled in some fashion and will not return to their premorbid level of function. In the United States, the direct cost of care for patients with TBI, excluding inpatient care, is estimated at more than $25 billion annually. The impact is even greater when one considers that most severe head injuries occur in adolescents and young adults.