DoD Worldwide Numbers for TBI
DVBIC is the Defense Department’s office of responsibility for tracking traumatic brain injury (TBI) data in the U.S. military. On this page you’ll find annual and quarterly reports that provide data on the number of active-duty service members — anywhere U.S. forces are located — with a first-time TBI diagnosis since 2000.
Service members can sustain a TBI during day-to-day activities, such as while playing sports or participating in recreational events, military training and military deployment. The majority of traumatic brain injuries sustained by members of the U.S. Armed Forces are classified as mild TBI, also known as concussion. Most service members who sustain a mild TBI return to full duty within seven to 10 days through rest and the progressive return to activity process, in which patients gradually return to normal activity using a standardized, staged-approach. Further treatment is available if symptoms persist after the recommended rest period. Review our clinical resources for more information.
Annual Totals at a Glance
Department of Defense Numbers for Traumatic Brain Injury Worldwide – Number of Service Members Diagnosed: This graph depicts the number of service members diagnosed every year since 2000, and corresponds with the number of service members diagnosed with the traumatic brain injury table above. It shows annual increases in identified service members with TBI, peaking in 2011 at nearly 33,000 cases, after which there has been a steady decline each year. This graph was updated on April 20, 2016.
Department of Defense Numbers for Traumatic Brain Injury Worldwide – Number of Service Members Diagnosed by Branch of Service: This graph depicts the number of service members diagnosed every year since 2000, according to service. Army accounts for the largest number of service members with traumatic brain injury, peaking in 2011 with nearly 20,000 identified cases, followed by Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy service members. This graph was updated on April 2016.
Department of Defense Numbers for Traumatic Brain Injury Worldwide – Number of Service Members Diagnosed by Severity: This graph depicts the number of service members diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, every year since 2000, according to the severity of the sustained injury. Mild traumatic brain injuries are shown to be by far the largest source of service member traumatic brain injuries, with over 20,000 cases in 2014 alone, followed by other severity injuries, accounting for less than 9,000 cases total. This graph was updated on April 2016.
About the Data
Where do the numbers come from?
How are TBI cases defined?
The first inpatient or outpatient TBI medical encounter is identified using billing codes from insurance claims defined in the appropriate version of the International Classification of Diseases. The International Classification of Diseases, 10th edition, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) took effect Oct. 1, 2015, replacing the ICD-9-CM coding guidelines. Military treatment facilities code medical encounters using ICD-10-CM and other DoD specific codes.
If a service member has sustained more than one TBI, are all of them counted?
If a service member has sustained more than one type of TBI, are both counted?
How often are the numbers updated?
What does a quarter cover?
- Q1 represents the period January 1 – March 31
- Q2 represents the period April 1 – June 30
- Q3 represents the period July 1 – September 30
- Q4 represents the period October 1 – December 31
What other surveillance activities does DVBIC perform?
- BIAMI member and sponsor Eisenhower Center offers a unique TBI transitional program for the military, athletes, and first responders
- Cohen Biosciences is a non-profit research organization focused on TBI and PTSD
- Military Traumatic Brain Injury: A Review
- NPR: How the Military is Failing its Wounded
- TBI and the Military