Increase of ER Brain Injury Visits

More and more people are showing up to emergency rooms for traumatic brain injuries, like concussions. A new study finds the number increasing nearly 30 percent.

"There's been an increase in the number of patients presenting to emergency departments in the last few years for mild traumatic brain injuries for things such as concussions," Dr. Tom Waters of the Cleveland Clinic said.

University of Pittsburgh researchers analyzed data from more than 950 hospitals between 2006 and 2010. They found that in 2010 there were an estimated 2.5 million emergency department visits for traumatic brain injury- a 29 percent increase from 2006.

They also found that children younger than 3 years old and adults older than 60 had the largest increase in traumatic brain injury rates.

The most common description for the visit was "concussion" or "unspecified head injury."

Researchers attribute the increase to a number of factors, including increased awareness and diagnoses. Dr. Waters says when it comes to head injuries, it's always better to be more cautious.

"Anytime you hit your head it could be a significant injury and you're better off coming in and letting us take a look at you and make sure that it is nothing serious," Dr. Waters said.

Complete findings for the study "Trends in visits for traumatic brain injury to emergency departments in the united states" can be found in the "Journal of the American Medical Association."

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