House Hearing on TBI

20 Mar

The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health spent some time on Monday holding a hearing on traumatic brain injury (TBI).  We all know that the spectrum of this injury can range from the severe to the mildest forms (mTBI) also know as concussions.  The government has been involved with TBI since 1996 funding further research and subsidizing awareness/education programs with the passage of the Traumatic Brain Injury Act of 1996;

What the Traumatic Brain Injury Act of 1996 Mandates

Public Law 104-166 charges CDC with implementing projects to reduce the incidence of traumatic brain injury. Specifically, the legislation mandates that CDC shall:

  • Develop a uniform reporting system for traumatic brain injuries.
  • Conduct research into the identification of effective strategies for preventing traumatic brain injury.
  • Implement public information and education programs for preventing TBI and for broadening public awareness about the public health consequences of TBI.
  • Provide technical assistance, either directly or through grants and contracts, to public or nonprofit entities for planning, developing, and operating projects to reduce the incidence of traumatic brain injury.
  • Present a report to Congress that describes the incidence and prevalence of traumatic brain injury.

Funding for all these activities was authorized at $3 million for each of the fiscal years 1997, 1998, and 1999.

The Act has been amended many times, the last, in 2008.

The House heard from witnesses about where they feel we stand in relation to the TBI issue; even though “concussion” was not heard the use of mTBI made it clear that this is an issue.  Side Note/Question/Random Thought: does the semantics of the injury cause “confusion” or an opportunity to dismiss as someone elses problem?  Why has the CDC not expanded the concussion issue through the TBI Act?  Back to what this post is about, the House hearing, if you want to watch the entire event you can click HERE (make sure you find video playlist in upper right).

If you don’t feel it is worth your hour or so, I do feel there is a small segment worth you time, it is the testimony/speech of Dr. Flaura Winston, her portion begins at approximately 22:40 of the video.

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One Response to “House Hearing on TBI”

  1. A Concerned Mom March 20, 2012 at 13:23 #

    It’s disheartening that with all the various governmental agencies researching TBI and mTBI, the information is not reaching necessary audiences. There are some avenues where injury prevention is difficult and requires further study, such as with the military. As for youth sports, although research could lead to better helmets which could potentially mitigate impacts, simply making people aware of current research and the need for impact reductions could potentially have an impact on the number of sports related mTBIs.

    There will always be accidents, and there will probably always be sport related mTBIs in contact and collision sports, but right now with the lack of awareness, youth athletes are participating in practices and games which essentially result in a certain percentage of mTBIs. It might be controversial, but I can’t help but think that our current youth sports programs are resulting in tax payer subsidized brain trauma (I suspect most youth programs utilize tax payer funded facilities at public schools or municipal fields). I wouldn’t want to see youth sports become overly regulated or unaffordable, but requiring some basic awareness certainly wouldn’t hurt (such as requiring the use of CDC materials). Most programs seem to be able to get parents to sign waivers, so you would think they could handle providing them with CDC materials at sign up. .

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