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Researchers examine traumatic brain injury in young people

Research published in the medical journal Pediatrics may have an impact on the treatment of brain injuries in West Virginia and across the United States. The researchers, from the University of Washington, estimate that between 1.1 million and 1.9 million children suffer a traumatic brain injury every year during recreation or while playing a sport. Most of the injuries go untreated.

Prior to the study, the estimate most widely cited was 1.6 to 3.8 million traumatic brain injuries annually, based on data gathered via the 1991 Health Interview Survey's Injury Supplement. The University of Washington study was based on data gathered by the National High School Sports Related Injury Surveillance System, the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System and MarketScan.

Sports are among the most popular activities for children, with an estimated 44 million children participating in one or more sports annually. Both the National Academy of Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control have advocated that a more comprehensive surveillance system be established to track traumatic brain injuries nationally. Indeed, the CDC has announced it is already in the process of developing one.

In addition to the playing field, a traumatic brain injury can also result from a motor vehicle accident or a sudden slip and fall. Regardless, an injured victim may require extended periods of expensive hospitalization and subsequent rehabilitation. When it can be determined that the injury was caused by the negligence of another party, such as a distracted or impaired driver, a personal injury attorney can often be of assistance in seeking compensation for those expenses as well as other losses that have been incurred.

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