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Michael Phelan
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CDC Reports Increase in Rate of Hospitalization for Traumatic Brain Injury

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On March 2, 2007, the Centers for Disease Control published an article in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Review (MMWR), entitled, Rates of Hospitalization Related to Traumatic Brain Injury—Nine States, 2003. The data reported by the CDC shows a significant increase in the rates of hospitalization for persons with traumatic brain injury. According to the CDC:

“Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Each year, on average, TBIs are associated with an estimated 1.1 million emergency department visits, 235,000 hospitalizations, and 50,000 deaths…”

Motor vehicle accidents were a leading cause of the reported TBI-related hospitalizations. Unfortunately, 64.9% of patients hospitalized with a TBI-related diagnosis were discharged home with no or unskilled assistance. TBI is a major public health problem that it is only going to get worse as more and more of our service men and women return from Iraq with head injuries.