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JOURNAL OF NEUROSURGICAL SCIENCES
Rivista di Neurochirurgia
Indexed/Abstracted in: e-psyche, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Neuroscience Citation Index, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 1999 March;43(1):15-24
Minor head injury at paediatric age in Argentina
Murgio A. 1, Fernandez Milà J. 2, Manolio A. 3, Maurel D. 4, Ubeda C. 4
1 Accidentology Committee, Argentinian Society of Paediatrics;
2 Children’s Hospital, Mar del Plata City;
3 Children’s Clinic, Mar del Plata City;
4 Epidemiology National Institute, Argentina
Background. To evaluate epidemiologic factors in relation to paediatric head injury in the city of Mar del Plata, Argentina.
Methods. Retrospective (12-month) and prospective (6-month) evaluations were carried out on a total of 2,492 children with head injury (age range 0-15 years), taking into account sex, age, cause of injury, time of injury, incidence of hospitalisation, and the occurrence of fractures on conventional X-ray and computarized tomography (CT) scans of the head. Data were compiled and analyzed through a register called “Traumatic Brain Injury Register”.
Results. From the total 2,492 children entered in the registry, 62% were males and 38% females. Age distribution was as follows: 33.5% from 0-2 years, 43.8% from 3-9 years, and 22.7% from 10-15 years. Falls were the main cause of head injury in children under 3 years of age, whereas car accidents prevailed among older groups (χ2= 216.00, p<0.0001). Injuries occurred most frequently (84.7% of the cases) between 12:00 hrs and 24:00 hrs. From the total sample, 1,015 children (19.9%) required hospitalisation. Skull fractures were identified on conventional X-rays in 14.9% of the cases, and there was a direct relationship between skull X-rays and CT scans with respect to skull fractures (χ2= 13.13, p<0.0001). The overall incidence of paediatric head injuries was 566 cases per 100,000 population and mortality rate was 4.65 per 1,000 head injuries.
Conclusions. Our figures revealed an overall incidence of paediatric head injuries, which is 2.97 higher than the international average, suggesting that accident prevention measures should be further implemented.