Editor’s note: This is part one of a multi-part series.

By now you have heard that March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. Because of that the Leesville Daily Leader and the Beauregard Daily News want to make our readers aware of a few brain injury facts.

Additionally, this article will be the first in a series that we will be publishing during the month.

We will be discussing statistics, diagnoses, treatments and introduce you to a few people who live daily with the effects of suffering a brain injury.

Finally, the terms TBI, traumatic brain injury and brain injury are synonymous and are used interchangeably.

A TBI is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or a penetrating injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as “a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury."

Every year in America there are approximately 2.5 million new brain injury cases diagnosed with 1.365 million emergency room visits and 235,000 hospitalizations totaling between $48-56 billion.

Approximately seventy-five percent of brain injuries that occur each year are concussions or other forms of mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI).

Sports and recreational activities contribute to about twenty-one percent of all TBIs among American children and adolescents.

Every year there are between 80,000-90,000 people who experience the onset of long term or lifelong disabilities associated with a TBI and another 50,000 people will die as a result of the brain injury. An estimated 2,685 of those will be children fourteen years of age or younger.

Finally, a fall, more common with the elderly, is the leading cause of brain injuries, emergency room visits, hospitalizations and death.