More than one million Americans have died from this type of injury. Those who survive may experience short-term or long-term health problems from a TBI. People who don’t have the money to receive proper treatment are more susceptible to death and long-term health issues. There are other disparities in healthcare when it comes to treating traumatic brain injuries that you should know.
Residents of rural areas
Because of the longer travel time to get to a hospital, people who live in rural areas are more susceptible to the harmful effects of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). In addition, they have less access to Level I trauma centers. Having access to a Level I trauma center can make the difference in surviving and only experiencing short-term effects. Children in rural areas are also more likely to get a TBI.
People who are homeless
People who are homeless are up to 10 times more likely to have a moderate or severe TBI. They have worse physical and mental health overall than those who aren’t homeless. People who are homeless report violence from their childhood more often than those who haven’t endured homelessness. Abuse is one of the potential causes of traumatic brain injuries.
Military service members and veterans
Between 2000 and 2019, over 400,000 military service members in the US had a traumatic brain injury. You would think most of these injuries were while they were in another country, but 80% of the cases from 2005 to 2018 were from accidents within the US.
Racial and ethnic minorities
Native American/Alaska Native children and adults are more susceptible to traumatic brain injuries than other ethnic groups. Substance use problems, higher rates of car accidents and suicide contribute to their higher rates of TBIs. Non-Hispanic black and Hispanic patients don’t receive as much follow-up care and rehab as non-Hispanic white patients, so they are more susceptible to the harmful effects of traumatic brain injuries.
Traumatic brain injuries are a health issue that you need to take seriously, especially if you know that you’re in an at-risk category. Your health and well-being is more important than the cost. Some organizations may be able to help you afford treatment.