Democratic Congressman G.K. Butterfield, Jr. from North Carolina has introduced the National Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Act of 2009 in Washington. The Act recognizes the National Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Plan and recommends its full implementation. The National Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Plan is designed to create a standardized and evidence-based system of care universally accessible for all infants, children and young adults, and their families, no matter where they live in the nation.
Brain injury is the number one cause of death and disability for children and young adults under 25 years old in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Plan, developed under the auspices of the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation, is the first and only plan of national scope to address the entire continuum of care for children and young adults with brain injuries.
The Sarah Jane Brain Foundation was started by Patrick Donohue, father of Sarah Jane Donohue, who was violently shaken by her baby nurse when she was just 5 days old, resulting in a massive brain injury. Mr. Donohue launched the foundation in October 2007 due to the lack of available evidence-based data on Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury.
“There are over three million new cases each year in the United States alone, making PABI a national health epidemic,” stated Donohue. “The fact that so many of these injuries go unreported and undiagnosed makes the epidemic that much worse since the public has a lack of awareness and understanding of brain injury.”
According to Congressman Butterfield, “The Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Plan will help millions of children and young adults and their families, as well as save billions of dollars of taxpayer money.”