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Traumatic brain injuries could be on the rise in Pennsylvania

Snow mobiles and ski trips are being exchanged for biking adventures and four-wheeled trips as the weather gets warmer, and for those who enjoy recreational activities, it's a welcome change. Unfortunately, injuries are also common as more people step outside their doors to enjoy nature, and a recent study shoes that brain injuries in particular are on the rise.

The study involved researchers from the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pennsylvania and showed that the number of patients coming into emergency rooms with traumatic brain injuries from 2006 to 2010 rose by almost one-third. Approximately 40 percent of those visits also involved a co-occurring injury. The findings were based on Nationwide Emergency Department Sample database data, which looks at ER visits at hospitals across the country.

One of the more interesting results of the study was the finding that two demographics in particular -- those aged under 3 or over 60 -- had the largest increase in brain injury ER visits. The researchers have hypothesized that this may be due to the fact that these two groups are not as affected by safe sports practices or helmet laws.

With any type of recreational activity there is a chance of a brain injury or trauma to the spinal cord, and these types of injuries can be especially severe. Long-term medical treatment and rehabilitation therapy are common and costly for injuries suffered in a skiing or an amusement park accident, but in situations where an accident is caused by someone's negligence or a business not following proper safety protocols, it may be possible for victims to be awarded financial compensation to ease the burden of medical expenses and ongoing therapies.

Source: Medscape, "Traumatic Brain Injury ED Visits Up Nearly 30% in 5 Years" Larry Hand, May. 15, 2014

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