Massachusetts residents had higher rates of traumatic brain injury-related emergency department (ED) visits than residents of any other state studied, according to a 2021 report in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. Over 998 per 100,000 MA residents went to an emergency room for a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a single year, topping the list of the 25 states reporting that data. While the Commonwealth fared better on TBI-related deaths and hospitalizations, one thing is clear: brain injuries affect a substantial number of Massachusetts residents every year.
TBIs occur when a bump, blow, jolt, or penetration to the head disrupts normal brain function. Although many TBIs result in mild concussions, serious brain injury is a major cause of death and disability. In fact, a 2018 special report by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) indicated that TBIs contributed to 68,260 emergency room visits, 5,062 hospitalizations, and 820 deaths of MA residents in one year.
Causes of Brain Injuries in Massachusetts
The DPH Special Emphasis Report on Traumatic Brain Injury highlights the following causes of TBI for the year studied (2015):
- Accidental Falls: Unintentional falls caused the most TBI-related hospitalizations (66%), ED visits (52%), and deaths (49%) of MA residents.
- Car Crashes: Motor vehicle crashes were the second-leading cause of TBI-related fatalities and hospitalizations. Traffic accidents contributed to around 20% of the TBI-related deaths of MA residents.
- Blunt-Force Trauma: Being struck by or against an object or person was the second-leading cause of TBI-related ED visits by Massachusetts residents.
- Sports Injuries: Among those who play sports, 19% of middle school students and 14% of high school students in Massachusetts reported experiencing symptoms of a sports-related TBI in the past year.
Traumatic Brain Injuries by Age and Gender
The report also indicated that Massachusetts TBI rates varied by age and gender, presenting the following statistics.
- MA residents aged 65 years and older had the highest number and rate of TBI-related hospitalizations, accounting for 54% of TBI-related hospitalizations.
- MA residents aged 65 years and older had the highest number and rate of TBI-related deaths, accounting for 54% of TBI-related fatalities.
- MA residents 85 and older had the highest fall-related TBI death and injury rates.
Infants and Toddlers:
- MA infants under age one and children ages 1-4 had very high rates of emergency room visits for fall-related TBIs.
- TBI death rates in Massachusetts were 166% higher among males than females.
- TBI hospitalization rates were 77% higher among males.
- TBI-related emergency room visit rates were 16% higher among males.
Massachusetts Brain Injury Lawyers
Brain injuries often have substantial physical, mental, emotional, and financial costs. If you or a family member suffered a TBI, you may qualify for financial compensation for your injury. The Boston brain injury lawyers at Altman & Altman LLP can help you seek to recover funds for emergency medical bills, lost income, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and even the wrongful death of a loved one. Contact us anytime day or night to arrange a free consultation with one of our experienced Boston TBI lawyers.