Emergency rooms see increase in number of brain trauma patients

Car, truck and motorcycle accidents can be catastrophic, and trauma to the brain can be a life-changing event for those who are injured. Proper recognition and medical treatment is crucial to a person’s chance of recovery, and a new study shows that awareness of the severity of head injuries may be increasing in Florida and across the country.

The study conducted by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh shows that there has been an increase in the number of people presenting at emergency rooms across the country with traumatic brain injuries. The study looked at data from more than 950 hospitals in the four-year span from 2006 to 2010 and found that 2.5 million emergency room visits in 2010 involved a traumatic brain injury. That’s a 29 percent increase from 2006.

According to the study, the largest increase was found in young children aged less than 3 years and adults over the age of 60. Reports did not immediately give a reason for those particular demographics having the largest increase, but researchers say that the overall increase may be able to be attributed, at least in part, to increased awareness involving the severity of brain injuries.

Brain injuries like concussions can often present with different types of symptoms that are not as easily recognizable as something like a broken arm, for example. Increased media attention on head injuries and concussion rates, however, may be making it more likely for parents or elderly caregivers to insist on medical attention for those with an apparent head injury, even if it initially seems minor.

For a head injury that is the result of an accident were another party was at fault, the person injured may be able to file a personal injury suit seeking compensation that can be used to provide some financial relief for the hefty medical bills and rehabilitation costs that can come with a traumatic brain injury.

Source: MySuncoast, “ER visits for brain injuries increase” No author given, May. 13, 2014