Nonfatal Traumatic Brain Injury–Related Hospitalization in Very Young Children—15 States, 1999
To document age-related patterns of nonfatal hospitalization associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI) among children younger than 2 years of age, by intent/cause and diagnosis.Methods
Data describing 2536 nonfatal TBI-related hospitalizations in 15 states for the year 1999 were obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Central Nervous System Injury surveillance system for children younger than 2 years of age (0–23 months) at the time of injury.Main Outcome Measures
Incidence rates (overall, by intent/cause, and by diagnosis) were calculated by combining TBI surveillance data with population data from the US Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics.Results
Overall rates of nonfatal TBI-related hospitalization peaked at 1 month of age (178.0 cases per 100,000 person-years) followed by a secondary peak at 8 months of age (127.9 cases per 100,000 person-years). Rates for fall-related (unintentional) cases and assault-related cases were significantly higher for infants (0–11 months) than for 1-year-olds (12–23 months), with rates for both types of cases peaking in the earliest months of life. Rates for cases with diagnoses of skull fracture and/or intracranial injury were also significantly higher for the younger group. Assault-related cases frequently coincided with a diagnosis of intracranial injury regardless of age.Conclusions
Prevention efforts should focus on falls and assaults, which account for the majority of TBI-related hospitalizations in early childhood. Such efforts may also need to emphasize the unusually high risk during the first few months of life.