Some Facts and Stats on Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic Brain Injury / Head Injury | helmet | TBI

April 25, 2012

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a contributing factor to a substantial number of deaths and permanent disabilities each year.  A TBI is caused by a bump, blow, jolt or penetrating injury to the head.  The severity of a TBI may range from “mild” to “severe.”

There are an estimated 1.7 million TBI-related deaths, hospitalizations, and emergency department visits occur in the U.S. each year. Nearly 80% of these individuals are treated and released from an emergency department.  TBI is a contributing factor in one-third of all injury-related deaths in the United States, or about 52,000 deaths annually.[1]

TBI injuries result form a number of causes. Falls are the leading cause of TBI, resulting in over  520,00 TBI-related emergency department visits and 62,000 hospitalizations each year. TBI rates are highest for children aged 0 to 4 years and for adults aged 75 years and older.

Motor vehicle-related injuries are the leading cause of TBI-related deaths.  Motor vehicle–traffic injury rates are highest for adults aged 20 to 24 years.

According to data collected by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there was a 14.4% increase in TBI-related emergency department visits and a 19.5% increase in TBI-related hospitalizations  between 2002 to 2006.  Emergency department visits for fall-related TBI saw a dramatic increase between 2002 and 2006. There was a 62% increase in fall-related TBI injuries for children 14 years and younger, and a 46% increase for adults aged 65 and older; 46%.  Hospitalization for fall-related TBI rose 34% while fall-related TBI deaths increased 27% from 2002 to 2006.

Direct medical costs and indirect costs of TBI, such as lost productivity, totaled an estimated $60 billion in the United States in 2000.

There are a few simple things everyone can do to reduce the risk of traumatic brain injury, including:

  1. Wearing a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle;
  2.  Never driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
  3. Wearing a helmet and making sure your children wear helmets when:
  • Riding a bicycle, motor cycle, snowmobile, scooter, or ATV;
  • Playing contact sports of any kind;
  • Using in-line skates or a skateboard;
  • Riding a horse;
  • Skiing or snowboarding.

4. Make living areas safer for infants and seniors by:

  • Removing tripping hazards such as throw rugs in walkways;
  • Placing  nonslip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors;
  • Installing grab bars in the tub or shower and next to the toilet;
  • Installing handrails on both sides of stairways; and
  • Improving lighting throughout the home.[2]