Epidemiology of brain injury

In the United States there are over 1 million cases of traumatic brain injury occurrences reported every year. Between 75-95 percent of those cases are mild TBI (traumatic brain injury) injuries. Many cases go unreported. About 200,000 people need to go to the hospital every year because of TBI, and 52,000 die, making TBI responsible for 40% of deaths from trauma.

In the United States:
1) Automobile accidents cause an estimated 45% of traumatic brain injuries.br /> 2) Occupational incidents cause 10%.
3) Physical assaults cause 5%.
4) Slips and falls cause 30%.
5) Recreational activities cause an estimated 10%.

Brain injuries in young adults and children are usually from motor vehicle accidents, although the trend in this area is good with increased use of car safety belts and bicycle helmets. Kids in the age range 0 to 14 have about half a million TBIs in the US every year. Traumatic brain injuries suffered in contact sports and can also have lasting and even severe consequences. Football, soccer, rugby, hockey and boxing yield a high number of head injuries and the athletic organizations are working on better player safety equipment and better athletic training. The NFL is working on helmets designed to better absorb shock.

It is difficult to say how many people are living with TBI. A government study almost 20 years ago put the number at between 2.5 million and 6.5 million in the US.

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