Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations, and Deaths

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations, and Deaths

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of death and disability in the United States. TBIs contribute to about 30% of all injury deaths. Every day, 153 people in the United States die from injuries that include TBI. Those who survive a TBI can face effects that last a few days, or the rest of their lives. Effects of TBI can include impaired thinking or memory, movement, sensation (e.g., vision or hearing), or emotional functioning (e.g., personality changes, depression). These issues not only affect individuals but can have lasting effects on families and communities.

This CDC report provides detailed information about traumatic brain injury (TBI)-related deaths, hospitalizations, and emergency department (ED) visits in the United States for the years 2001 through 2010. The data can be used to address a wide range of important questions, such as how many TBIs occur each year in the United States, who is affected, and how these TBIs occur.

Highlights from the 2001-2010 report include the following:

  • At least 2.8 million people sustain a TBI. Of these, about 50,000 die, 285,000 are hospitalized, and 2.5 million are treated and released from an ED.
  • Although rates of TBI-related emergency department visits increased by 47% in 2007-2013, hospitalization rates decreased by 2.5% and death rates decreased by 5%.
  • In 2012, an estimated 329,290 children (age 19 or younger) were treated in U.S. emergency departments for sports and recreation-related injuries that included a diagnosis of concussion or TBI.
  • Falls are the leading cause of TBI; rates are highest for children ages 0 to 4 years and for adults age 75 years or older.

This report is intended as a reference for policymakers, service providers, educators, researchers, advocates, and others interested in knowing more about the impact of TBI in the United States.

Posted on BrainLine April 17, 2017.

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.