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Trends in severe traumatic brain injury in Victoria, 2006–2014

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the most significant cause of death and severe disability resulting from major trauma.1 The economic burden of TBI is significant, with estimated annual hospital costs of $184 million in Australia.2 Although severe TBI constitutes a small proportion of all TBI,3 these injuries are a significant public health problem, associated with high mortality, profound long term disability, and significant long term health care costs.4,5

While there is evidence that mortality associated with severe TBI has not changed since 1990,6 data on temporal trends in the incidence and causes of severe TBI are limited. Understanding the epidemiological patterns of severe TBI is necessary for developing targeted interventions and evaluating injury prevention strategies. This is particularly important given the worldwide focus on the prevention of falls and road trauma, the major causes of severe TBI.5,7,8

The aim of this study was therefore to examine trends in the incidence and causes of hospitalisations for severe TBI across a statewide population (Victoria)…