Falls, transport accidents and assault top causes of traumatic brain injury

Traumatic brain injury is a major cause of hospitalisation, disability and death in Australia in 2004-05 and was responsible for at least 22,700 hospitalisations, about 980 deaths in hospital, and estimated direct hospital care costs of $184 million, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

Report author Yvonne Helps of the AIHW's National Injury Surveillance Unit said, 'Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, can occur when the brain is damaged as a result of a blow to the head.'

The most commonly reported causes of traumatic brain injury were falls (9,233 or over 40%), transport accident injuries (7,153 or over 31%) and assault (3,105 or nearly 14%).

The report, Hospital separations due to traumatic brain injury, Australia 2004-05, looks at all hospitalisations where traumatic brain injury was involved.

The report found that where traumatic brain injury was the principal diagnosis; the rates for males were two and a half times those for females.

'Hospitalisation rates for TBI as the principal diagnosis remained stable over the period 1999-00 to 2004-05,' Ms Helps said.

Friday 12 September 2008

Further information: Ms Yvonne Helps, AIHW 08 8201 7623.

For media copies of the report: Publications Officer, AIHW, tel. 61 2 6244 1032.