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July 22, 2020

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Study sheds new light on brain injuries

The average age of Chinese patients suffering traumatic brain injury is 48 years and traffic accidents are the top cause, covering half of all cases.

Among all patients, 22 percent suffer serious injury and 36 percent are treated at specialized intensive care units. Fully 74 percent of patients are male and 83 percent are young or middle aged, according to a study of some 13,000 patients from 56 hospitals in 22 provinces and municipalities.

“The research is important to provide evidence and information for traumatic brain injury treatment and government policy-making,” said Dr Jiang Jiyao, lead scientist of the study and director of the neurosurgery department at Renji Hospital affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine. “For traffic accidents, we found that injuries due to cars are dropping while those related with mopeds and e-bikes are surging quickly across the country.”

“It will be very helpful to prevent and reduce brain injuries by regulating the weight and speed of mopeds and e-bikes, and legislating the need for wearing helmets,” he said.

According to the research, first aid and treatment of traumatic brain injury have improved greatly in China through the adoption of diagnostic standards and individualized care.

“The death rate of patients with traumatic brain injury in China is 11.4 percent, while it is 19 percent in Europe,” Jiang added.

The research involves one of the largest databases of traumatic brain injury hospitalizations in China. It’s also the first study in the country to make detailed and careful use of brain injury data.

“In the next step, we will study the recovery and life-quality of patients six months after they are discharged. This will bring together more medical information to direct clinical practice and rehabilitation,” Jiang added.

The research was published by medical journal Lancet Neurology yesterday.


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