Traumatic brain injury is the fourth most common cause of death in the developed world: in the United States alone, 75,000 to 100,000 people die of brain trauma each year, and another 70,000 to 90,000 are left permanently impaired. This book—the first comprehensive, accessible book on traumatic brain injury—explains what it is, how it is caused, and what can be done to treat, cope with, and prevent it. William Winslade presents facts about traumatic brain injury; information about its financial and emotional costs to individuals, families, and society; and key ethical and policy issues.
He illustrates each aspect with dramatic case studies, including his own childhood brain injury. He explains how the brain works and how severe injuries affect it, both immediately and over the long term, pointing out how resources are often squandered on patients with poor prognoses and adequate insurance, while underinsured patients with better prognoses do not receive appropriate care. He tells about the lack of regulation in the rehabilitation industry and what federal and state legislatures are doing to correct the situation. And he offers recommendations for policy changes to lower the instances of traumatic brain injury (such as raising the minimum driving age) as well as practical steps that individuals can take to protect themselves from brain trauma.