According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the rate of emergency room visits for traumatic brain injury increased 30 percent between 2006 and 2010. Researchers say the increase in urgent care for traumatic brain injury, concussion, and other head-related conditions may be the result of legislation, public health campaigns, and other efforts to raise awareness about the risks and complications posed by such conditions, compelling people to seek medical attention when they may otherwise have not.
The co-director of the Concussion Center at NYU Langone Medical Center stated that a traumatic brain injury such as a concussion can be complex. While the majority of concussions can be resolved without further complications, usually between 10 and 14 days after the cause, others can result in severe short- and long-term adverse effects and may prompt patients to seek legal counsel from a brain injury lawyer. The co-director stated that the results of the JAMA study speak to the increased recognition of concussion and traumatic brain injuries and an increased number of individuals participating in sports.
JAMA Reports 30 Percent Increase in Traumatic Brain Injury ER Visits
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine analyzed data from the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample database, which included information pertaining to emergency room visits for more than 950 medical facilities in the U.S., which added up to an estimated 25 to 50 million visits.
According to researchers, there were approximately 138 million emergency department visits between 2006 and 2010, and 1.7 percent of these patients were diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries. In that time period, visits to an emergency room for a traumatic brain injury increased at a rate eight times higher than the rate for total emergency room visits.
The biggest increase in traumatic brain injury was seen among adults over the age of 60 and children younger than three years of age. Most patients were sent home after receiving a traumatic brain injury diagnosis. However, the increase of these injuries among the very old and the very young may indicate that these two age groups may not necessarily be benefiting as much from public health interventions, such as safer sport practices and helmet and concussion laws.
Researchers assert that while the data does not include patients who were pronounced dead prior to hospital arrival and does not include visits to federal hospitals, it does highlight the critical role that the emergency room plays in the initial diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of traumatic brain injuries. Additionally, although the rise in ER visits may be seen as a negative, it may also be a positive sign that people are learning not to ignore possible traumatic brain injuries and to seek medical attention when in doubt.
Contact a Brain Injury Lawyer Today
If you or someone you love has sustained a traumatic brain injury and you feel as though the injury was caused due to the negligence of another, consider seeking legal counsel from a brain injury lawyer. Contact Attorney Group today to learn more about your legal rights and how a brain injury lawyer can work in your best interests. After providing you with a free case evaluation, we can connect you with one of our affiliated brain injury lawyers who can work to help you recover the damages to which you may be entitled.