Emergency department visits for traumatic brain injury in a birth cohort of medicaid-insured children
Objectives: To analyse emergency department-based data on paediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI). Methods: This study constructed a retrospective cohort of 493 890 children who were born in New York City between 1999–2007 and who were enrolled in the New York Medicaid programme at the time of their birth and followed these children from birth to the end of 2007. Results: There were 62 089 injury-related emergency department visits, of which 1290 had ICD-9 codes consistent with TBI. Children with TBI were more likely to be male (59.4% vs 51.4%) and Hispanic (43.9% vs 26.3%) than those in the underlying birth cohort and were more than twice as likely to be admitted to the hospital for inpatient care (RR = 2.4, 95% CI = 2.2, 2.6). The most commonly listed cause of injury was falls (58.3%). Spatially-smoothed risk estimates indicated that some areas of the city are associated with a greater risk of paediatric TBI than others. Conclusions: Emergency department data can be used to describe paediatric TBI in ways not easily available through more routinely collected administrative health data. This information can be used to target prevention and control efforts.
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