ED Visits for Sports-Related Traumatic Brain Injuries Spiking in Kids — Physician’s First Watch
ED Visits for Sports-Related Traumatic Brain Injuries Spiking in Kids
By Joe Elia
Although the number of emergency department visits for sports-related brain injuries in children has greatly increased over the past decade, the percentage of patients admitted has remained stable, according to a Pediatrics study.
Researchers examined the records of a Cincinnati-area trauma center from 2002 to 2011, focusing on nearly 4000 patients under age 20 with traumatic brain injuries. The number of visits per year increased over 90% during the study period, while the percentage of those admitted remained at about 10%. Injury-severity scores declined significantly over the study period.
Katherine Bakes, an emergency physician and a contributor to NEJM Journal Watch, commented, "The landscape for sports-related traumatic brain injury is changing, likely because of increased awareness of two things: the long term sequelae of repeat injuries, and the risks of radiation — all resulting in more inpatient observation than imaging."