According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability in the United States. In the U.S. each year:

  • 52,000 individuals will die because of a TBI
  • 1.4 million individuals will visit an emergency room because of a TBI
  • 275,000 individuals will be hospitalized because of a TBI
  • Pre-school children, adolescents, and older adults are the groups most impacted by traumatic brain injuries.

From 2006 to 2014, the number of TBI-related emergency departments (ED) visits, hospitalization, and deaths increased by 53%.

In 2014, about 2.87 million TBI-related emergency department visits, hospitalization, and deaths occurred in the United States, including 837,000 of these involving children.

  • TBI contributed to the deaths of 56,800 people, including 2,529 deaths among children.
  • TBI was diagnosed in approximately 288,000 hospitalizations, including over 23,000 among children.

In 2014, an estimated 812,000 children (age 17 or younger) were treated in EDs for concussion or TBI, alone or in combination with other injuries.

Over the span of eight years (2006-2014), while age-adjusted rates of TBI-related ED visits increased by 54%, hospitalization rates decreased by 8% and death rates decreased by 6%.

In 2014, falls were the leading cause of TBI. Falls accounted for almost half (48%) of all TBI-related ED visits. Falls disproportionately affect children and older adults:

  • Almost half (49%) of TBI-related ED visits among children 0 to 17 years old were caused by falls.
  • Four in five (81%) TBI-related ED visits in older adults aged 65 years and older were caused by falls.

Being struck by or against an object was the second leading cause of TBI-related ED visits, accounting for about 17% of all TBI-related ED visits in the United States in 2014.

Falls and motor vehicle crashes were the first and second leading causes of all TBI-related hospitalizations (52% and 20%, respectively).

Intentional self-harm was the first leading cause of TBI-related deaths (33%) in 2014.

The Center for Disease Control estimates there are over 5.3 million Americans living with a traumatic brain injury.


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