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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 provides organizational problems for retrieval and early response services, accident and emergency wards and rehabilitation departments. The long-term disabilities may be grave and special difficulties are experienced by the community in general and by families in particular when the headinjured 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 rate 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, McDougall and Lewis, 1993). While the reporting of death and its causation is mandatory in most countries, it is may not be standardized and is often incomplete, providing a bias in the collection of mortality data (Romano and McLoughlin, 1992).
Book DetailsHead Injury: pathophysiology and management of severe closed injury, P Reilly, R Bullock (eds)
PublisherChapman & Hall Medical
Publisher CityLondon
Page Range3-23
Page Count21
Notesavailable from CASR library on request

Fearnside MR, Simpson DA (1997). Epidemiology. In Head Injury: pathophysiology and management of severe closed injury, P Reilly, R Bullock (eds) (pp. 3-23). London: Chapman & Hall Medical.