JOURNAL ARTICLE
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The pattern of traumatic brain injuries: a country undergoing rapid development.

Brain Injury 2010 Februrary
BACKGROUND: Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) remain an important public health problem in most industrial developed and especially in developing countries. This may also result in temporary or permanent disability.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine the trends in the distribution of traumatic brain injuries by gender, age, severity of injury and outcome and describe the incidence in the injury patterns.

DESIGN: This is a retrospective, descriptive, hospital-based study that included all cases of TBI during the period from January 2003 to December 2007.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: This study is a retrospective analysis of 1919 patients with traumatic brain injury attended and treated at the Accident and Emergency Department of the Hamad General Hospital and other Trauma Centers of the Hamad Medical Corporation. Details of all TBI cases were extracted from the database of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Severity of TBI was assessed by Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS).

RESULTS: This study was based on 1919 patients suffering from traumatic brain injury, where 154 died and 97 (5.1%) of them died in the intensive care unit. The number of TBI cases increased remarkably in 2007 by 69.7%. However, the incidence rate was nearly stable across the years (4.2-4.9/10 000 population). Of the total TBI cases, the majority of them were non-Qataris (72.7%) and men (88.6%). There was a significant increase in number of TBI cases between 2003 and 2007 in terms of age group (p = 0.003), nationality (p = 0.004) and severity of injuries (p = 0.05). The highest peak rate of TBI cases was observed among the population over 65 years old, followed by 15-24 year olds. Falls caused most TBIs in the 1-14 years age group, road traffic accidents in the age group 15-24 years and sports and recreation in the age group 25-34 years.

CONCLUSION: The present study findings revealed that traumatic brain injury is a major public health problem, especially among young adults and older people. Although there was a sharp increase found in the number of TBI cases, the incidence rate of TBI took a stable trend during the study period.

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