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Study Finds Assault To Be Leading Cause of Head Trauma in Young Teens

It is just one of several intriguing findings in a new study published in the November issue of the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine. Prashant Mahajan, MD, MPH, MBA (Wayne State University ), John D. Hoyle, Jr., MD (Michigan State University), and Rachel M. Stanley, MD (University of Michigan) were involved in critical revision of the research.

The study, titled Epidemiology of Blunt Head Trauma in Children in U.S. Emergency Departments, examined records of 43,399 children across a number of major hospitals. The data was broken into three distinct age groups: less than 2 years, 2 to 12 years, and 13 to 17 years.

The primary mechanism of head injury for children younger than 2 was falls from elevation. For children ages 2 to 12, the primary cause of head injury was also falls from elevation. The more interesting results presented themselves in the group of children ages 13 to 17. The 3 primary mechanisms of head injury were assault, sports, and being an occupant of a motor vehicle crash. And on the whole, boys accounted for 62% of head injuries across all age groupings.

As for the impact of their findings, the researchers believe that “this prospective, multi center study provides more detailed and representative clinical and radiographic information about the spectrum of traumatic brain injuries in children than is available in previous studies of administrative databases or from single institutions. Our findings may be useful in the development of future injury-prevention measures and age-stratified targeted interventions, such as campaigns to promote the use of bicycle helmets and automobile restraints.”


All relevant study data can be found in the  Supplementary Appendix.

Photo Credit: North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM)


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