Pediatric traumatic brain injury: acute and rehabilitation costs

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1993 Jul;74(7):681-6. doi: 10.1016/0003-9993(93)90024-5.


Pediatric traumatic brain injury constitutes an enormous public health problem, but little is known about the economic costs of such injury. Using charges as a proxy for cost, we prospectively collected data on initial hospital charges and professional fees for emergency department services, acute inpatient care, and acute inpatient rehabilitation for 96 patients with mild, moderate, and severe traumatic brain injuries. We also examined the relationship between these costs and injury severity and etiology. Acute care and rehabilitation median costs were $5,233 per child, $11,478 for hospitalized children, and $230 for those only seen in the emergency department. Median costs for injuries due to motor vehicles, bicycles, and falls were $15,213, $6,311, and $792, respectively. Using Glasgow Coma Scale criteria, median cost of mild, moderate, and severe traumatic brain injuries were $598, $12,022, and $53,332, respectively. Injury etiology added modestly but significantly to the prediction of cost over and above that predicted by injury severity alone. Rehabilitation costs accounted for 37% of the total for all children, but 45% of those with the most severe injuries.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Brain Injuries / economics*
  • Brain Injuries / etiology
  • Brain Injuries / rehabilitation
  • Child
  • Female
  • Glasgow Coma Scale
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Male
  • Pediatrics / economics
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rehabilitation / economics