Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Pediatric Brain Trauma Costs $1 Billion Annually

MONDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Traumatic brain injuries suffered by children place a significant burden on U.S. health resources, costing more than $1 billion in hospital charges each year, a new study finds.
Skull fracture, intracranial bleeding, concussion and shaken baby syndrome are examples of traumatic brain injury (TBI).
The study was conducted by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP) in the Columbus Children's Research Institute at Columbus Children's Hospital in Ohio. They analyzed data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Kids' Inpatient Database, collected from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2000, from 2,784 hospitals in 27 states.
The analysis revealed an estimated 50,658 TBI-associated hospitalizations among children ages 17 and younger in that year, with 15- to 17-year-old patients having the highest hospitalization rates.
"Based on our research, pediatric TBI patients accrue more than $1 billion in total hospital charges annually," study senior author and CIRP director Dr. Gary Smith, said in a prepared statement.
"Injury costs for children are often greater than those for adults because they include acute treatment, long-term rehabilitation and loss of productivity for the parent or guardian. TBIs resulting from unintentional trauma constitute the primary cause of death among U.S. youth and are often the most serious consequences of nonfatal injuries," Smith added.
TBI is one of the top 10 most costly hospital outpatient diagnoses for children, the study said. Preventing TBI is the best way to reduce its impact on hospitals, families and society, the authors noted.
The study was published in the August issue of the journal Pediatrics.
More information
The U.S. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control has more about traumatic brain injury.
Last reviewed: 08/07/2006 Last updated: 08/07/2006

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