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

Through the Children’s Health Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-310), Congress charged the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with “determining the incidence and prevalence of traumatic brain injury in all age groups in the general population of the United States.” In response, CDC has produced a new report, Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations, and Deaths.

This report provides detailed information about traumatic brain injury (TBI)-related deaths, hospitalizations, and emergency department (ED) visits in the United States for the years 1995 through 2001. 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 report include the following:

Each year in the United States:

  • At least 1.4 million people sustain a TBI. Of these, about 50,000 die, 235,000 are hospitalized, and 1.1 million are treated and released from an ED.

  • Approximately 475,000 TBIs occur among children ages 0 to 14 years; ED visits account for more than 90% of the TBIs in this age group.

  • 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 policy makers, service providers, educators, researchers, advocates, and others interested in knowing more about the impact of TBI in the United States. 

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Page last modified: May 30, 2007