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Publication Details

AuthorsFearnside MR, Simpson DA
TypeBook Chapter
AbstractThe last 20 years have seen major advances in the prevention and treatment of head injury, resulting in a substantial decrease in mortality. Yet head injury remains a major health and social problem both for developed and developing nations. The frequency and diversity of head injury provide organizational problems for retrieval and early response services, accident and emergency wards and rehabilitation departments. The longterm disabilities may be grave and special difficulties are experienced by the community in general and by families in particular when the head-injured patient attempts to re-enter and integrate with society. In order to meet these challenges, epidemiological information regarding the frequency of occurrence, causes, distribution and outcome of head injury is necessary. Using reliable data, preventive measures may be undertaken as well as measures to minimize brain injury when it occurs. Epidemiological studies are concerned with populations rather than individuals. The methods used, therefore, measure disease rates and population statistics rather than individual case records, although these may be the source of data. Such information for head injury is not always easy to obtain (Jennett and MacMillan, 1981). Injuries occur in a widely dispersed geographical pattern, care is decentralized and non-systematized in many regions, deaths occur both inside and outside hospitals and the survivors are cared for in the main by family members (Fearnside et al., 1993b). While the reporting of death and its causation is mandatory in most countries, it may not be standardized and is often incomplete, providing a bias in the collection of mortality data (Romano and McLoughlin, 1992). Using a capture-recapture methodology an estimated 2 percent of head injury occurring in Iowa were not reported to any of three data sources (hospital discharge data, Traumatic Brain Injury Registry and death certificates) (Schootman et al., 2000).
Book DetailsHead injury : pathophysiology and management, 2nd edition, P.L. Reilly, R. Bullock (eds)
PublisherHodder Arnold
Publisher CityLondon
Page Range3-25
Page Count24
Notesavailable from CASR library on request

Fearnside MR, Simpson DA (2005) 'Epidemiology', in Head injury : pathophysiology and management, 2nd edition, P.L. Reilly, R. Bullock (eds), Hodder Arnold, London, pp 3-25.