Articles Tagged with pediatric brain injuries

Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injuries

Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injuries

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer. Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injuries can be devastating. Science is just now beginning to learn about the short- and long-term effects of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) to adults. The effects of traumatic brain injuries on children is also being investigated and studied but are, as of present, not fully understood. Making matters worse, some of the symptoms and effects of a TBI suffered in childhood may not fully manifest until later in life. What do parents need to know about childhood TBIs and the effects this may have on their child’s development?

Incidence of TBIs Among Children

According to the Brain Injury Association of America, TBIs are the primary cause of childhood disability and death. According to statistics maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Approximately 62,000 children between the ages of 0 and 19 require hospitalization each year for TBIs;
  • Over 500,000 children between the ages of 0 and 19 are seen in emergency rooms for TBIs each year and released without hospitalization; and
  • Childhood TBIs can be inflicted as the result of car crashes, injuries while playing sports, and falls from heights;

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Two studies were done to look at various aspects of basilar skull fractures in children. These are fractures through the inferior part of the brain that are associated with raccoon’s eyes and battle signs, which are areas of bruising around the eyes and behind the ears, respectively. Basilar skull fractures can be seen on CT scan of the brain and skull and often do not include any kind of intracranial injuries. The first study was a retrospective review of charts of patients that were discharged from the emergency room or from the hospital with a diagnosis of basilar skull fracture. Each patient had a clinical sign or x-ray evidence of a basilar skull fracture. There was a subgroup of patients with a normal neurological signs and a Glasgow coma score of 15 that had simple basilar skull fractures.

There were 239 patients in the study. A hundred and fourteen patients or 48 percent had simple basilar skull fractures. This group of simple fractures had vomiting at a rate of 6 percent and a meningitis rate of 1 percent. There were no cases of intracranial hemorrhages and no patients with simple basilar skull fractures needed any kind of surgery. The researchers concluded that some patients with simple skull fractures (basilar) may not need to be hospitalized.