March 26, 2007

Hospital admissions for the most serious category of head injury Type 1 traumatic brain injury increased nearly 38 percent between 2001 and 2004 after a decade of decline, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

 In 2004, there were nearly 204,000 hospitalizations for traumatic brain injury at a cost of $3.2 billion, and seven of 10 of these involved patients with a Type 1 injury. Inpatient hospital care for these patients cost $2.7 billion.

Forty percent of patients with Type 1 injuries were caused by falls, such as down stairs, off ladders, or on ice. Other common reasons for Type 1 injury hospitalizations included motor vehicle accidents (26 percent), being hit while playing sports or having a falling object hit the head (8 percent), bicycle or other transportation accidents (4 percent), and shootings (2 percent).

 People age 65 and older accounted for nearly 36 percent of hospitalizations for Type 1 injuries, followed by people age 18 to 44 (about 31 percent). People ages 45 to 64 comprised 19 percent of the cases and adolescents and children accounted for 15 percent.

About 13 percent of Type 1 patients died while hospitalized and nearly 28 percent were transferred to a nursing home or other type of rehabilitation facility. By comparison, less than 1 percent of other head injury patients died while hospitalized and about 8 percent were discharged to a nursing home or other type of rehabilitation facility.

These figures are based on data in Hospital Admissions for Traumatic Brain Injuries, 2004. The report uses statistics from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a database of hospital inpatient stays that is nationally representative of all short-term, non-federal hospitals. The data are drawn from hospitals that comprise 90 percent of all discharges in the United States and include all patients, regardless of insurance type as well as the uninsured.

Source: Medical News Today