Policy Paper: Falls-Related Traumatic Brain Injury

  • “Brain Injury Australia recommends that the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs – with the Department of Health and Ageing, and State and Territory departments of health – works to ensure that, in all government-funded falls prevention planning and programming “brain injury” appears, by name, alongside any other falls injuries.”


“Falls are the leading cause of Traumatic Brain Injury [TBI] in Australia, accounting for 42% of hospitalisations in 2004-2005.”Nick Rushworth, Executive Officer, Brain Injury Australia
  • Of all causes of TBI, falls are the most fatal – 63% resulted in death in 2004-2005.
  • Australians aged 65 years and over accounted for 62% of all TBI deaths in hospital in 2004-2005 – 1 in every 6 the result of a fall.
  • While falls injuries to the hip and thigh in Australians over 65 years of age have fallen, rates of head injury have risen – to almost 1 in every 5 admissions.

Speeches and Presentations (2010)

“One Wrong Step”: Poster and Postcard (2010)

Ladder Falls are the Most Common “Do-It-Yourself” Injury, and Nearly 1 in 10 Result in a Brain Injury

  • “New research by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has found falls from ladders were the most frequent “Do-It-Yourself” injury during 2013-2014, with nearly 1 in 10 resulting in an “intracranial injury such as a concussion”.

    Read more.

“Head injury” was the second most common falls-related injury (after those to the hip and thigh) in Australians aged 65 and over during 2005-2006, occurring in 17% of cases.”Nick Rushworth, Executive Officer, Brain Injury Australia

Research: Falls-Related Brain Injury

  • Traumatic Brain Injury-Related Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations, and Deaths – United States, 2007 and 2013 (2017)

    “Progress has been made to prevent motor-vehicle crashes, resulting in a decrease in the number of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)-related hospitalizations and deaths from 2007 to 2013. However, during the same time, the number and rate of older adult fall-related TBIs have increased substantially…the findings in this report suggest that TBIs attributable to older adult falls, many of which result in hospitalization and death, should receive public health attention.”


  • Playground Equipment Related Injuries in Preschool-Aged Children: Emergency Department-based Injury In-depth Surveillance (2017)

    Based on falls as the common cause of playground traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in children, this study found that swings had a relatively high incidence of falls-related TBI, followed by slides and climbing equipment, compared to seesaws, which were used on at ground level.


Ladder Safety Matters National Campaign – Australian Consumer & Competition Commission

  • A new joint initiative of Australian, State and Territory consumer affairs agencies and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, encourages “older men to consider the consequences before engaging in risky ladder use”.

    Visit campaign website.

    Download poster.

Learn more…

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