Large increase seen in emergency departments visits for traumatic brain injury

May 13, 2014

Between 2006 and 2010, there was a nearly 30 percent increase in the rate of visits to an emergency department for traumatic brain injury, which may be attributable to a number of factors, including increased awareness and diagnoses, according to a study in the May 14 issue of JAMA.

In the last decade, (TBI) garnered increased attention, including public campaigns and legislation to increase awareness and prevent . The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes TBI as a serious public health concern, according to background information in the article.

Jennifer R. Marin, M.D., M.Sc., of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and colleagues used data from the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS) database to determine national trends in (ED) visits for TBI from 2006 through 2010. NEDS is a nationally representative data source including 25 million to 50 million visits from more than 950 hospitals each year, representing a 20 percent stratified sample of EDs.

The researchers found that in 2010 there were an estimated 2.5 million ED visits for TBI, representing a 29 percent increase in the rate of visits for TBI during the study period. By comparison, total ED visits increased by 3.6 percent. The majority of the increase in the incidence of TBI occurred in visits coded as concussion or unspecified head injury. Children younger than 3 years and adults older than 60 years had the largest increase in TBI rates. The majority of visits were for minor injuries and most patients were discharged from the ED.

The authors write that the increase in TBI among the very young and very old may indicate these age groups do not benefit as much from , such as concussion and helmet laws and safer sports' practices.

Explore further: Study finds increase in fall-related traumatic brain injuries among elderly men and women

More information: DOI: 10.1001/jama.2014.3979

Related Stories

Homeless with TBI more likely to visit ER

March 21, 2014

Homeless and vulnerably housed people who have suffered a traumatic brain injury at some point in their life are more likely to visit an Emergency Department, be arrested or incarcerated, or be victims of physical assault, ...

Recommended for you

New insights on how cocaine changes the brain

November 25, 2015

The burst of energy and hyperactivity that comes with a cocaine high is a rather accurate reflection of what's going on in the brain of its users, finds a study published November 25 in Cell Reports. Through experiments conducted ...

Can physical exercise enhance long-term memory?

November 25, 2015

Exercise can enhance the development of new brain cells in the adult brain, a process called adult neurogenesis. These newborn brain cells play an important role in learning and memory. A new study has determined that mice ...

Umbilical cells help eye's neurons connect

November 24, 2015

Cells isolated from human umbilical cord tissue have been shown to produce molecules that help retinal neurons from the eyes of rats grow, connect and survive, according to Duke University researchers working with Janssen ...

Brain connections predict how well you can pay attention

November 24, 2015

During a 1959 television appearance, Jack Kerouac was asked how long it took him to write his novel On The Road. His response – three weeks – amazed the interviewer and ignited an enduring myth that the book was composed ...

No cable spaghetti in the brain

November 24, 2015

Our brain is a mysterious machine. Billions of nerve cells are connected such that they store information as efficiently as books are stored in a well-organized library. To this date, many details remain unclear, for instance ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.