Memory in Head Trauma
The head is injured in more than two thirds of all automobile accidents and head injury is the cause of death in about 70% of fatal accidents (Partington, 1960). The National Center for Health Statistics estimated 8 to 9 million new cases of head injuries per year (Karlsberk, 1980). Several small studies that have collected data from well-defined geographic localities provide better and more reliable information on the characteristics of these injuries. One such study, carried out by the University of Virginia, collected prospective data on 1248 head injury patients from a well-defined geographic area. There was an overall incidence of 24 head injuries per 10,000 population. Males comprised twice as many cases as females. The incidence was highest in the age group 15 through 19 with 42 head injuries per 10,000 population. The second highest-risk age group was 75 and over with an incidence of 30 per 10,000. The lowest incidence occurred.in children 5 through 9 years of age. The majority of the injuries from automobile accidents occurred on small two-lane roads and secondary highways. Of all the patients studied, 93% suffered from some period of unconsciousness following head injury. The majority of the patients (54%) were unconscious for a period of 30 min or less. Twenty-five percent of the patients were still comatose at the time of admission to the emergency department, with a score of 8 or less on the Glasgo Coma Scale (GCS). The remaining patients had altered levels of consciousness, with 49% sustaining only minor injuries with scores of 12 or more on the GCS.
KeywordsHead Injury Head Trauma Brain Damage Severe Head Injury Skull Fracture
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