In Australia, around 2,400 deaths related to head injuries are reported annually. That’s according to the latest report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
Based on data from the 2020/21 financial year, AIHW found head injuries resulted in 142,000 hospital admissions – the equivalent of one admission every four minutes.
Symptoms can include amnesia, unconsciousness, and light sensitivity.
Acquired Brain Injuries (ABI) are not included in this data, but head injuries can cause ABI, as well as temporary or permanent disability, or in more severe cases, death.
Men made up 64% of all the injury-related emergency visits and deaths.
These accounted for one in 20 emergency visits in children aged four and younger — the age group with the highest rate of emergency head injury visits.
First Nations people were almost three times more likely to be hospitalised for a head injury than non-Indigenous Australians.
Hospitalisations and deaths
Head injuries made up 25% of all injury hospitalisations and 17% of related deaths during the 2020-21 year.
It is also present in nearly 70% of assault related injury hospitalisations.
The AIHW found cycling and equestrian were the sports with the most reported in 2020-21.
Of all concussion hospitalisations, one in four was related to a sporting injuries. It comes after calls for better regulations to control concussions, particularly in children.
A Senate inquiry in September suggested rule modifications for contact sports among younger children, due to its impact on brain development.