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Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Prevention Strategies

Prevention Resources



The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or a penetrating head injury. Everyone is at risk for a TBI, however children and older adults are at a greater risk.

An estimated 2.8 million emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths were noted in 2013.1 The leading cause of TBI is falls (47%); more than half (54%) of TBIs among children (ages 0 to 14 years) are by falls.1 About one quarter of older children and adolescents (less than 15 years) reported TBIs as a result of blunt trauma from sports or other play-related activities.2 Nearly 4 in 5 (79%) TBI-related ED visits, hospitalizations, and deaths in adults aged 65 and older were caused by falls.1

In West Virginia, the percentage of annual TBI-related deaths was 2.4% for individuals ages 0-24 compared to 40.9% to individuals 65 years of age and older. 3 Hospitalizations for TBI-related injuries was 6% for individuals ages 0-24 compared to 41.8% to individuals 65 years of age and older during 2015. 4

For West Virginia in 2015, the highest number of TBI-related deaths were among individuals ages 75-84. 3 Among those with TBI-related hospitalizations, individuals between the ages of 75-84 were most affected. 4

TBI effects include problems with thought process, movement, sensation, and potential emotional changes can include personality changes, depression, and anxiety. TBIs also impact the family as many report significant changes in quality of life, increased parental stress, and greater anxiety for the concern of their children’s health outcomes


Impact on West Virginia:

  • 411 West Virginia residents died due to traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in 2015 representing 20% of all injury related deaths.3
  • 763 West Virginia residents were hospitalized due to traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in 2015 representing 25% of all injury related hospitalizations.4


Data Source: Taylor CA, Bell JM, Breiding MJ, Xu L. Traumatic Brain Injury–Related Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations, and Deaths — United States, 2007 and 2013. MMWR Surveill Summ 2017;66(No. SS-9):1–16.1

Data Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nonfatal Traumatic Brain Injuries Related to Sports and Recreation Activities Among Persons Aged ≤19 Years — United States, 2001–2009. MMWR 2011; 60(39):1337–1342.2

Data Source: West Virginia Health Statistics Center, Vital Statistics System.3

Data Source: West Virginia Health Care Authority Hospital Inpatient Billing Data.4

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West Virginia Violence and Injury Prevention Program (WVVIPP) Room 427 350 Capitol Street Charleston, WV 25301
Phone: 1-800-642-9704