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A Utah Senator is trying to reauthorize a federal law that supports programs for people with traumatic brain injuries, or TBI, a condition which affects 5.3 million Americans. With 40,000 of these people that reside in Utah.

“Those suffering from a traumatic brain injury deserve the best care possible,” said U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. “That’s the goal of this bill — to help patients get quality care early, so they can recover from this devastating injury.”

State legislation establishing a fund for Utahns with brain injuries, meanwhile, stalled in the Legislature last month for the second year in a row.

Hatch introduced his bill — co-sponsored with Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass. — to the Senate on Wednesday. It would make allocations for services to people affected by brain injuries, help states develop treatment capacity and fund projects for injured veterans.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would also be charged with surveying how common brain injuries are in the general population.

Hatch and Kennedy were original sponsors in the TBI legislation in 1996. March has been christened Brain Injury Awareness Month. The TBI numbers are striking.

According to the CDC, there are 1.4 million reported instances of TBIs in the United States per year. Most of these injuries are caused by falls or car accidents. 5.3 million people – approximately 2 percent in the United States – need long term or lifelong help due to brain injury.

Continue Reading Aid for Head Trauma Victims.

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