When do head injuries present?

  • 1 in 3 ED presentations were on a weekend

  • 15% of ED visits were between 6-8pm

Presentation time

The busiest time for head injury presentations to EDs was between 6:00 to 7:59pm (15%) and the quietest was 4:00 to 5:59am (1.7%). 

7.4% presentations occurred between midnight and 6am, and of these 34% were aged 25-44 and 22% aged 15-24 years.

Figure 19 shows the most common presentation days and times for head injury ED presentations.

Presentation day

Relatively more ED presentations occurred over weekends. Saturday was the busiest day, with 68,500 presentations (16.9%). Those aged 15-24 were 1.8 times more likely to present with a head injury on a Saturday compared with a Thursday (21% and 12% respectively) The 65 and over age group saw the least variation in cases across the week.

Figure 19: Number of head injury ED presentations by day and time, 2020–21

A heat map showing that the most common presentation time and day to the ED for a head injury was on Saturday afternoons between 4:00pm and 5:59pm (20,252 cases).


Head injuries demonstrate similar patterns of seasonality compared with all injuries. Explore the interactive display as part of Injury in Australia. Causes of injury such as assault exhibit significant seasonality, with hospitalisations peaking in December each year. 

Intracranial injuries exhibit the most seasonality for head injuries, with ED presentations peaking between March and June. This potentially coincides with the start of rugby and football seasons.