According to “Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in The Bahamas, 1997 to 2012”, a recent study by Dr. Magnus Ekedede, 624 persons suffer some form of TBI in the Bahamas every year. The number of Acquired Brain Injuries (ABI) in The Bahamas is not yet available. However, Dr. Ekedede estimates the figures to be high, especially ABI’s related to strokes.
Dr. Ekedede’s study also reported that an average of 25 patients lose their lives annually to TBI in the Bahamas. An average of 34 TBI patients will have a bad outcome (which includes major disability or vegetative state). Those who die and those who are disabled leave a gap in the socio-economic work force.
The Foundation is committed to assisting as many brain injury patients as possible in year one, increasing by 20% per annum. In particular, The Foundation hopes to assist with inpatient care, for periods up to 60 days or longer, as determined on a per case basis. The Foundation is also dedicated to assisting with outpatient care for periods up to 90 days or longer, as determined on a per case basis.
Funds will also be allocated towards providing wheelchairs, hospital beds and home renovations to facilitate brain injury survivors.
Financing this is a daunting goal and the cost is formidable. Dr. Magnus Ekedede’s 2012 study outlined the approximate cost of care of an Intensive Care ventilated TBI patient in The Bahamas as follows:
- $48,000 Average cost of hospitalization (approx. 30 days)
- $42,000 Average cost of surgery, tracheotomy, PEG, green filter, bronscopies, labs, MRIs, etc.
- $375,000 Average cost of Neuro-Rehabilitation in the USA
- $465,000 TOTAL per patient
Unfortunately, due to financial constraints, many TBI patients do not undergo the vitally important Neuro-Rehab therapies that are so critical to their recovery. Studies indicate that TBI patients stop improving after one year. Therefore, without this vital treatment component, in this short window, the quality of life for TBI survivors could be dramatically diminished. There is a chance that with the necessary treatment, many of these patients would regain their mental, motor and sensory skills and eventually may be able to live an independent life, thereby reducing the burden of their care and minimizing the socio-economic gap that their condition creates.