Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Archive for the tag “brain injury”

Medline Plus TBI page

Medline Plus TBI page – http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/traumaticbraininjury.html

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What’s another name for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?
  • How is brain injury diagnosed?
  • How long should a character be knocked out to give her moderate to severe TBI?
  • What are some best practices for communicating with someone with TBI or PTSD?


Brief description of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) with extensive links to resources related to TBI in a number of areas including:

  • Overviews
  • Diagnosis/Symptoms
  • Treatment
  • Specific Conditions – Including information on Cerebral Hypoxia.
  • Tutorials
  • Videos
  • Clinical Trials
  • Research
  • Children – Including information on Shaken Baby Syndrome.
  • Teenagers
  • Seniors
  • Patient Handouts – Including Brain injury – discharge.

Taken together, these resources ought to take your character from initial injury to long-term complications.


Centers for Disease Control Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) page

Centers for Disease Control Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) page – http://www.cdc.gov/TraumaticBrainInjury

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What’s the leading cause of Traumatic Brain Injury?
  • What are the emotional symptoms of a concussion?
  • If you’ve been knocked out for an extended period, are you likely to make an instant recovery upon awaking?
  • What are the ABCs of concussion?


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention page on Traumatic Brain Injury opens up with a dramatic and troubling statistic. From the website:

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious public health problem in the United States. Each year, traumatic brain injuries contribute to a substantial number of deaths and cases of permanent disability. Recent data shows that, on average, approximately 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury annually.

The past few years of media coverage have taught us that TBI is often the result of war injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan. While this is a serious problem among servicemembers, the CDC reports that the top four causes of TBI are found here at home:

  • Falls (35.2%);
  • Motor vehicle – traffic (17.3%);
  • Struck by/against events (16.5%); and
  • Assaults (10%).

This is from the “Causes and Risk Groups” section of the site. Other sections include:

  • Concussion & Mild TBI
  • Concussion in Sports
  • Severe TBI
  • Statistics
  • Long Term Outcomes
  • Reports & Fact Sheets

The first two sections on this list have resources on recognizing, treating and preventing concussions. The Concussion in Sports links to sports specific information including posters that can be posted in locker rooms. The Sports section also has a link to survivor stories, which writers can use to get a feel for what it’s like to live with a concussion.

The Severe TBI section has information on how severe TBI is diagnosed and notes three things writers should know:

  • An extended period of unconsciousness after a head trauma indicates Severe TBI.
  • People with Severe TBI are usually hospitalized.
  • People with Severe TBI usually have significant impairments in cognitive function, motor function, sensation and emotion up to a year after the injury.

The Statistics page offers information including the number who die from TBI nationally, TBI injury estimates by state and the economic costs of TBI. It also links to longer statistical reports.

The Reports and Facts Sheets section has a report on trends in sports related TBI and a fact sheet on the incidence of TBI in prisons and jails.

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