To determine the epidemiology of pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a midwestern state and to examine differences between metropolitan and nonmetropolitan residents.
Population-based case series.
Patients aged 0-19 years sustaining TBI in 1993 that resulted in hospitalization or death.
Main Outcome Measures
Incidence, mortality and case-fatality rates, length of hospital stay, discharge status, and Glasgow Outcome Scale score.
Nine hundred seventy-seven patients met inclusion criteria. Incidence, mortality, and case-fatality rates were 73.5 per 100 000, 9.3 per 100 000, and 12.8 per 100, respectively. Higher median household incomes and percentages of adult high-school graduates in a patient's census block group correlated with lower incidence. Median length of stay was 2 days. Of those included in the study, 720 patients (74%) were discharged home with self-care. Three hundred fifty-seven patients met criteria for severe TBI; 346 (97%) were assigned Glasgow Outcome Scale scores, of which 161 (47%) had disabilities or died. Severe TBI was associated with nonmetropolitan residence, higher median household income, and certain injury mechanisms. Incidence was similar for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan residents. Median head-region Abbreviated Injury Score, Injury Severity Score, and mortality and case-fatality rates were higher for nonmetropolitan residents.
This study reports the lowest incidence of pediatric TBI that results in death or hospitalization to date. One half of severely injured patients suffered poor outcomes. A greater proportion of nonmetropolitan than metropolitan residents suffered severe TBI and had higher mortality and case-fatality rates.