An editorial in the Milford Daily News this weekend emphasized the need for real attention to be paid to pediatric acquired brain injuries (PABIs)-those affecting infants, children, and young adults. Our Chicago brain injury lawyers realize that there has been a sharp increase in news discussing this issue, but the increased publicity is only beneficial when it spurs action to help victims and prevent future injuries. All those in a position to limit these brain injuries must not only be aware that they occur with more frequency than previously thought but they must actually take proactive steps to use the new information.
This particular editorial was written by the father of a six-year old little girl who suffered a traumatic brain injury while only five days old when shaken by a child nurse. The accident broke four ribs, her collarbone, and led to a permanent traumatic brain injury that has affected the child’s life from that moment on. Sadly the victim is not alone, as an astounding 765,000 young people under the age of 18 enter the hospital ever year because of these injuries. Ultimately, over 80,000 people in that group require hospitalization and 11,000 die from their injuries. Those numbers are frightening enough. However, they may be underreported as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention admits that those figures do not account for the rising number of sports-related brain injuries that affect young athletes every year.
This is clearly a problem that could use some solutions.
One proposal which hopes to be a starting point at tackling this traumatic brain injury problem is taking the form of a piece of federal legislation-HR2600. Known as the National Pediatric Bain Injury Plan (PABI Plan), the bill would streamline the care nationwide received by these victims. As it now stands, prevention and treatment for these victims is all over the board. There are few agreed upon standards by which to ensure that victims actually receive the best care possible and are given the best chance of recovering their brain functioning as much as possible. Without this standardization, some victims who could improve even more are left to languish while not receiving the best help available.
Part of the reason why there has been a lack of standardization is because the actual causes of these traumatic brain injuries are quite varied. Children often suffer the harm in auto accidents, sports collisions, assaults, falls, child abuse, and similar events. In fact, many of the returning soldiers who have suffered brain injuries would be included in these efforts. Pediatric acquired brain injuries actually include all those who are under the age of 25. Considering that many of our soldiers-particularly those like to be on the front lines-are under 25, they would have much to gain from the passage of this legislation and the standardization of treatment.
Hopefully the PABI Plan will pass this upcoming Congressional session. It is already supported by at least 100 members of Congress. In addition, the funds needed to run the program would come directly out of the budget already allocated to the Health and Human Services discretionary fund. In that way it helps hundreds of thousands of community members without any net cost for taxpayers.
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