Causes of TBI

Brain inflammation illustration
Leading causes of TBI are motor vehicle crashes, falls, violence, and sports injuries.  The severity of TBI ranges from mild to severe.  In Hawaii, unintentional falls were the leading cause of TBI at each level of severity, accounting for more than half of the non-fatal injuries and 45% of deaths that involved a TBI.  Most of the falls (81%) and those requiring hospitalization (70%) occurred among older adult residents (those 65 years and older), while patients under 15 years of age comprised 23% of the fall-related TBI treated in ED settings. Motor vehicle crashes were common causes of fatalities and hospitalizations, while being unintentionally struck by or against something were a more prevalent cause of TBI-related ED visits.

The average duration for hospitalizations were 7 days and resulted in approximately $50,800 in medical charges ($70.9 million/year). Each TBI-related ED visit generated almost $3,200 in medical charges (a total of $35.1 million/year).

Source:  Hawaii Special Emphasis Report: Traumatic Brain Injury 2011 – 2015, report by Dan Galanis Epidemiologist with the Department of Health Injury Prevention Control Section, EMS &Injury Prevention Systems Branch