Message from Canada's Chief Public Health Officer
I am pleased to introduce the Injury in Review, 2020 Edition: Spotlight on Traumatic Brain Injuries Across the Life Course. This is the third report of the Public Health Agency of Canada's (PHAC) Injury in Review series, providing important national surveillance statistics on the causes of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) across the life course, including sports, seniors' falls, assaults, consumer products, and more.
Each year in Canada, over 20,000 people are hospitalized for TBI, which can range from mild to severe and include concussions. Much work has been done in recent years across governments, stakeholders, and health care professionals to improve education and awareness of TBI and, in particular, concussions.
In the last two years, Parachute released the Canadian Guideline on Concussion in Sport as well as sport concussion protocols with support from PHAC. The Guideline and protocols include harmonized best practices to recognize, prevent and reduce the impacts of concussion in sport, health and school sectors. And in 2018, the province of Ontario enacted Rowan's Law--named in honour of Rowan Stringer, who at just 17 years of age died after suffering a concussion during a high school rugby game. The law, a first in Canada, requires sports organizations to address concussion safety, including a remove-from-sport protocol for athletes.
The breadth of topics covered in this report helps to tell the story of how TBI, including concussions, are affecting Canadians of all ages. Knowing how these injuries occur is critical to understanding the impact of TBI on Canadians. It will also enable us to enhance targeted prevention strategies, set priorities for research, and better support individuals living with TBI.
By continuing to work together with governments, stakeholders, and dedicated injury prevention partners, we can help protect Canadians from TBI.
Dr. Theresa Tam
Chief Public Health Officer
Public Health Agency of Canada