Head injury: looking beyond the patient.

Head injury has been documented as the leading cause of death and disability for individuals under 35 years.1 Road traffic accidents are the major cause in the under 65 age group, and account for more than 50% of all fatal and severe head injuries. 2 Domestic accidents such as falling down stairs are also significant causes of traumatic brain injuries, particularly among children and older people. Assaults account for up to 20% of head injuries in adults, and approximately 4% in children. Injuries in the latter are frequently associated with child abuse. Occupational and recreational accidents are less common causes of head injury, accounting for as little as 8% and 7%, respectively, of all cases hospitalised with serious head injuries.