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Statewide Increase in Brain Injuries

By Kelley Weiss

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kcur/local-kcur-598368.mp3

Kansas City, MO – Missouri health officials are examining why traumatic brain injuries are on the rise. KCUR's Kelley Weiss reports.

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A Missouri Department of Health report shows from 1999 to 2003 people visiting the emergency room or being hospitalized for a traumatic brain injury increased by 15 percent. Lori Brenneke, of the state health department's Adult Head Injury Program, says nationally the number of these injuries is rising. She says often a traumatic brain injury is caused from a motor vehicle accident, falls or jumps or being struck by a person or object.

Lori Brenneke: "One of the main causes of brain injury is falls and that's occurring in our age 65 plus population and that population is growing older and larger."

Brenneke also says almost one in five Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans have traumatic brain injuries. She says a Missouri Statewide Action plan is in place now to raise awareness on prevention efforts and resources available to minimize these injuries.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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