New Data: Hospitalizations and Emergency Department Visits for Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as sudden damage to the brain caused by a bump, blow, jolt, or penetrating injury to the head. TBIs have short- and long-term consequences, including the need for acute hospital care, emotional, and behavioral changes, impaired neurologic function, complications from intracranial hemorrhage, and death. Children and older adults who sustain a TBI are at higher risk for these consequences, compared with individuals in other age groups.
Inpatient Stays and Emergency Department Visits Involving Traumatic Brain Injury, a statistical brief from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, presents statistics on initial and subsequent TBI-related inpatient stays and treat-and-release emergency department (ED) visits.
- In 2017, over 1 million inpatient stays and treat-and-release ED visits had a diagnosis of TBI (100 TBI-related stays and 247 visits per 100,000 population).
- Population rates of TBI-related inpatient stays and treat-and-release ED visits were highest in low-income and rural areas and in the Midwest.
- Compared with other age groups, TBI-related inpatient stays for the youngest (<5 years) and oldest (65+ years) patients were more likely to involve cerebral hemorrhage, no loss of consciousness, and unintentional falls.
- One-fourth of TBI-related inpatient stays for patients <5 years old were caused by assault.
- Compared with inpatient stays without a TBI diagnosis, those stays principally for TBIs were more than 2 days longer, were 74 percent more costly, and had an in-hospital mortality rate that was 4 times higher.