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New study examines causes of head injuries in children

Researchers at two medical institutions are offering some new information about how children receive head injuries. Medical researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine reviewed over 43,000 children during their investigation. The comprehensive study focused on determining the most frequent causes of childhood head injuries.

In a paper published Nov. 13 in the New England Journal of Medicine, the researchers detailed how they used computerized tomography scans to assess head injuries in their victims, which was then followed by treatment involving neurosurgery.

Perhaps one of the most intriguing finding in the study was that falls contributed to the majority of head injuries for children under the age of two. In fact, 77 percent of head injuries in that age group were attributed to falls. That number fell significantly for children between 2-12 years-old, at only 33 percent.

Not surprisingly, the study found that the majority of head injuries suffered by adolescents occurred as a result of assaults, sports activities and motor vehicle crashes. At least 24 percent of head injuries in that age group were attributed to assault. Sports-related events accounted for 19 percent of head injuries in that demographic, while motor vehicle accidents provided the cause for 18 percent of events involving head injuries.

Another important finding in the study was that the numbers seem to imply that many childhood brain injuries might be avoided through the use of safety devices. For example, less than half of the children in the category for brain injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents were wearing seat belts at the time of their injuries. Additionally, the study found that children injured in bicycle crashes were wearing helmets less than 20 percent of the time in accidents involving head injuries.

Any brain injury can result in a victim requiring substantial medical treatment as well as permanent care and assistance. Often, brain injuries also require rehabilitative or restorative therapies over a long period of time.

North Carolina residents who have suffered brain injuries should know that there may be legal remedies available to them that may help to defray those costs. If you have suffered a brain injury as a result of a preventable accident, you may be entitled to seek compensation for the harm you have experienced.

Source: Medical Xpress, "Picture emerges of how kids get head injuries" Nov. 12, 2014

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