Roughly two thirds of children with severe head injuries who undergo computed tomography scans have traumatic brain injuries, according to an analysis of emergency department visits for pediatric head trauma published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Researchers studied some 43,000 children who presented with blunt head trauma from 2004 through 2006. Among the findings:
• Falls (usually from elevation) were the most common cause of injury among children younger than 13 years, while assaults, sports, and car crashes were the most common causes among teens.
• CT scans, performed on a third of patients, identified traumatic brain injury in 5% of those with mild injuries, 27% with moderate injuries, and 65% with severe injuries.
• Overall, the most common CT findings were subdural hematoma, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and cerebral contusion.
Among those with traumatic brain injury, 48% had more than one kind of brain injury.