Admission to hospital following head injury in England: Incidence and socio-economic associations
- Alan Tennant
- BMC public health
We present the epidemiology and the outcome of the patients younger than 15 years-old who were admitted to our hospital during 1986 with the diagnosis of head injury. One hundred and fifty-five met the required inclusion criteria, this offers an incidence of head injury in children of 139/100,000. The boy/girl ratio was 2.1/1. The commonest causes were traffic accidents (45%), mainly those knocked down or on bicycles, and falls (41%). According to the Glasgow Coma Scale 88.5% of the head injuries were slight, only 11.5% being moderate or severe. The outcome was good in 97%. There were two intrahospital deaths, that happened in the 8 patients with severe head injury, giving a mortality rate of 25% for this group; and 5 deaths out of hospital. Thus, the global mortality secondary to head injury for children was 6.3/100,000 and year. These data show: a) the sanitary importance of the head injury in children; b) the necessity of a separate study of the head injury in children since the precipitating causes and the clinical outcome are specific; and c) the shortcomings in the urgent out of hospital medical attention, as indicates an out of hospital mortality rate of 71% which is well above that of other developed countries.