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Brain injuries differ among children’s ages

Teenagers face the greatest risk of a brain injury from assaults according to a study that published in the New England Journal of Medicine. As children become teenagers, according to the study, the causes of head injuries changed.

Traumatic brain injury has been the leading cause of death or disability among children over 1 years old. This study, however, is among the first research to detail the cause or types of incidents. Researchers hope that the study will provide guidance for developing injury-prevention measures and improve the ability to safely diagnose brain trauma.

Authors of the study analyzed data from 40,000 children who were treated in 25 emergency rooms from 2004 to 2006. Most injuries treated in emergency rooms (98 percent) are considered mild according to the head of traumatic brain injury and neuro-rehabilitation at Miami Children’s Hospital.

The patients in this study had head injuries of all severities from normal neurological status to deep coma. The injuries were classified as mild, moderate or severe. Researchers did not include concussions, which is an injury that shakes the brain. The brain injuries in the study caused bleeding in the brain.

Assault was the greatest cause of blunt force trauma in 13- to 17-year-old children and accounted for 24 percent of the injuries for this group. Sport injuries were the second greatest cause, accounting for 19 percent of this injury. Motor vehicle accidents were associated with 18 percent of head injuries. Seat belt use and bicycle helmets could prevent many of these injuries, according to the study.

Injuries for children under 13 were less varied. Falls were responsible for 77 percent of injuries for children under 2 years old. For children from 2 to 12 years old, 38 percent of injuries were caused by falls.

Victims of TBI may face years of rehabilitation, treatment, decreased wages and other serious losses. Where negligence, recklessness or criminal behavior was a factor in these injuries, prompt legal advice should be sought to protect the victim’s right to compensation for losses that are suffered.

Source: Tech Times, “Children’s Brain Injuries: How Do They Usually Happen?” Jim Algar, Nov. 12, 2014