Traumatic Injuries: Common Causes & Statistics

Traumatic Injuries

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, unintentional injury kills more people between the ages of one and 44 than any other disease or illness. In fact, more years of potential life are lost due to injury than to heart disease or cancer. Here are some common causes and stats to consider:


  • Drowning is the fourth most common cause of unintentional injury death for all ages, ranking first among person’s ages 25 to 44 and second for ages five to 44.


  • Falls are the second-leading cause of accidental deaths for persons age 45 to 75 and the number-one cause of unintentional death for persons 75 years of age and older. Alcohol and drug use are directly or indirectly responsible for 75-80% of these injuries, and require trauma recovery.


  • About 1.4 million people in the United States have Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) each year.  Of these, 50,000 of die and 235,000 are hospitalized and require trauma recovery. A TBI is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Not all blows or jolts to the head result in a TBI, with the severity of a TBI may range from “mild,” (a brief change in mental status or consciousness to “severe (extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury).


  • A breakdown of the leading causes of TBI is as follows: about 28% of the cases result from falls; about 11% of the cases result from assaults; about 20% of the cases result from motor vehicle-traffic crashes; and about 19 % of the cases result from being struck by/against.


  • In every age group, TBI rates are higher for males than for females.


  • Males up to 4 years of age have the highest rates of TBI-related emergency department visits, hospitalizations, trauma recovery care, and deaths.