Traumatic brain injuries

Traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of death and disability in children and young adults around the world and is involved in nearly half of all trauma deaths. Many years of productive life are lost, and many people have to suffer years of disability after brain injury. In addition, it engenders great economic costs for individuals, families and society. Many lives can be saved and years of disability spared through better prevention.

More and better epidemiological data can help in tailoring effective preventive measures against traumatic brain injury (TBI), with particular emphasis on reducing the impact of road traffic accidents. The world is facing a silent epidemic of road traffic accidents in the developing countries: by 2020, road traffic crashes will have moved from ninth to third place in the world ranking of the burden of disease and will be in second place in developing countries. A lot can be done to reduce the devastating consequences of TBIs.

Systematic triage of patients can lead to important economic savings and better use of scant hospital resources. More standardized pre-hospital and in-hospital care, to minimize secondary brain injury, can improve outcomes substantially.

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