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Epidemiology of Traumatic Epidural Hematoma in Young Age

Irie, Fumiko MD, PhD, MPH; Le Brocque, Robyne PhD; Kenardy, Justin PhD; Bellamy, Nicholas MD, DSc, MBA; Tetsworth, Kevin MD, FRACS; Pollard, Cliff MBBS, FRACS

Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery: October 2011 - Volume 71 - Issue 4 - p 847-853
doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e3182032c9a
Original Article

Background: Epidural hematoma (EDH) is a major traumatic brain injury and a potentially life-threatening condition, with the mortality rate in the young age group varying across studies. The aim of this analysis was to investigate the magnitude of traumatic EDH in young patients aged 0 year to 24 years in Queensland, Australia.

Methods: Study patients presented to the emergency department of 14 public hospitals participating in the Queensland Trauma Registry during 2005 to 2007 and were diagnosed and admitted for treatment of EDH. Age group comparisons were performed for demographic, injury, treatment, operation details, and outcome-related variables.

Results: We identified 224 young patients with traumatic EDH. The most frequent cause of injury was a fall in the 0 year to 9 years age groups and road traffic crash in those aged 10 years to 24 years. Almost 81% of the EDH cases were due to accidental injury, 17% due to assault, with the remainder due to self-harm and undetermined intent. Skull fracture was present in 75% of the study patients. Neurosurgical operations were performed on 40%. The overall Injury Severity Score adjusted in-hospital mortality rate was 4.8%. The odds of in-hospital mortality was 2.5 (95% confidence interval, 0.8–8.2) compared with older patients (25–64 years).

Conclusions: The results indicate that the Injury Severity Score adjusted in-hospital mortality rates for young patients with EDH were 4.8%. Given the limited information on morbidity resulting from EDH, further analysis to examine modifiable factors for better management and to evaluate survivor's long-term health outcomes via a longitudinal follow-up study is warranted.

From the Centre of National Research on Disability and Rehabilitation Medicine (CONROD) (F.I., R.L.B., N.B., K.T., C.P.), The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; and Royal Brisbane Women's Hospital (K.T., C.P.), Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Submitted for publication August 4, 2010.

Accepted for publication October 22, 2010.

Address for reprints: Fumiko Irie, PhD, MD, MPH, Ground level, Edith Cavell Building, RBWH, The University of Queensland, Herston, QLD 4029, Australia. email:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.