A study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has found that traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are responsible for around 1.7 million hospital visits and about 52,000 deaths per year. This number accounts for nearly one third of injury related fatalities in the United States. However, the most disturbing aspect of the study was the documented increase in TBI-related emergency room visits and hospitalizaton. The study, entitled “Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations, and Death” determined that traumatic brain injury related ER visits increased 14.4% and hospitalizations increased 19.5% over the course of the 2002-2006 survey period.
The statistics show that the groups most susceptible to traumatic brain injuries include young children, teens and the very elderly. The highest rate of death is seen in seniors over the age of 75 years old. The top cause of TBI injuries are slip and fall situations with the highest rate of falls seen in children under 5 and seniors 75 years or older. Car accidents make up the second leading cause of TBI injuries and also the leading cause of TBI deaths. According to the study, 31.8% of TBI deaths result from serious car accidents.
The statistics were compiled as part of the CDC’s ‘Head’s Up’ program which was implemented to provide information to health care professionals and patients regarding traumatic brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries have both short term and long term consequences including altered thoughts, perceptions and emotions.