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Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) statistics and prevention

Learn how TBI affects Massachusetts residents, and how you can prevent injury.

Massachusetts statistics

  • In 2014 there were 796 deaths among Massachusetts residents which were involved with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). In addition there were 4,917 hospitalizations and 66,952 emergency department visits that involved a TBI. 
  • Unintentional falls were the leading cause of TBI-related deaths, hospitalizations and ED visits in 2014. Motor vehicle traffic crashes were the second leading cause of TBI-related deaths and hospitalizations, while being struck by or against an object or person was the second leading cause of TBI-related ED visits.  
  • Fall-related TBI death and injury rates increase dramatically among older adults. MA residents ages 65 and older had the highest number and rate of TBI-related deaths and hospitalizations.
  • Massachusetts children ages 0-14 in Massachusetts have the highest rates of TBI-related emergency room visits

Prevention tips

  • Wear a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle
  • Buckle your child in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt (according to the child's height, weight, and age)
  • Never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Wear a helmet and make sure your children wear helmets when:
    • Riding a bike, motorcycle, snowmobile, scooter, or all-terrain vehicle
    • Playing a contact sport, such as football, ice hockey, or boxing
  • Making living areas safer for seniors, by:
    • Removing tripping hazards such as throw rugs and clutter 
    • Using nonslip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors
    • Installing grab bars next to the toilet and in the tub or shower
    • Installing handrails on both sides of stairways
    • Improving lighting throughout the home
    • Maintaining a regular physical activity program, if your doctor agrees, to improve lower body strength and balance
  • Making living areas safer for children, by:
    • Installing window guards to keep young children from falling out of open windows
    • Using safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs when young children are around
  • Make sure the surface on your child's playground is made of shock-absorbing material, such as hardwood mulch or sand
  • Stay away from violence and guns

(Adapted from CDC)