The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation recently published an article entitled “Emergency Department Evaluation of Traumatic Brain Injuries in The United States, 2009-2010.” The article examined emergency department records from the national hospital ambulatory medical care survey in 2009 and 2010 where traumatic brain injury was evaluated and diagnosed either clinically or with head computed tomographic (CT) scans. A CT scan was performed on 82% of the TBI evaluations. Of those, only 9% had CT evidence of traumatic abnormalities.
The authors concluded the emergency department is the “primary gateway” to the medical system for patients with acute TBIs. However, emergency department evaluations have not been sufficiently described. This national study fills an important void.