It is the general sense that mortality has been decreasing in recent years compared to earlier studies described by the NIH traumatic coma data bank. We studied mortality during the period of 1984 to 1996 to determine if indeed mortality from severe traumatic brain injury was decreasing and to identify factors which might account for the reduction. The study population (N = 1839) consisted of severely head injured patients extracted retrospectively from the TCDB (635), MCV (382), and 822 patients from clinical trial databases conducted in the United States. Mortality was obtained from each of the databases for the age range form 16 to 65. Penetrating injury and treatment groups in the clinical trial databases were excluded. Mortality in the year 1984 equaled 39% and gradually decreased to a level of 27% in 1996. When adjusting for age, motor score and pupil reaction, the mortality of the period from 1984 to 1987 was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than that of the period 1988 to 1996. During the period 1984 through 1996, mortality from severe brain injury steadily declined. Factors other than age, motor score and pupil reactivity over time are responsible for this reduction. This reduction over time is an important factor for prognostic modeling of TBI.