Objectives: To describe patient and hospital characteristics associated with hospitalization for a diagnosis of non-fatal sport-related concussion, and to determine factors associated with these hospitalizations.
Methods: Children aged 5 to 18 with a primary diagnosis of a sport-related concussion in the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (2000-2004) were identified. Length of stay and hospital charges for sport-related concussions were described. Logistic regression was used to assess the association of patient or hospital characteristics and sport-related concussion hospitalizations.
Results: Between 2000 and 2004, a total of 755 non-fatal pediatric sport-related concussion hospitalizations were identified. Nationwide, this represents 3,712 hospitalizations and over $29 million total hospital charges, with nearly $6 million in total hospital charges per year. Over half (52.3%) of the concussion patients experienced loss of consciousness. Over 80% of the concussion hospitalizations received no procedures during their average 1.1 days (median=0.8 day) of hospital stay. Older age, but not gender, was associated with increased odds of sport-related concussion hospitalizations. Non-teaching hospitals or hospitals in rural areas had significantly greater odds of admitting sport-related concussions versus other sport-related traumatic brain injuries compared to teaching or urban hospitals.
Conclusions: Management of pediatric sport-related concussions varied at the individual and hospital-level. Better guidelines are needed for the identification and management of sport-related concussions. Standardized procedures for hospitals treating concussive injuries may also be warranted.
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