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Third of traumatic brain injury patients readmitted

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Rates of hospital readmission following a traumatic brain injury are higher than previously reported, according to Canadian researchers.  

The study examined nearly 30,000 traumatic brain injury patients discharged from Ontario hospitals over eight years.

“Re-hospitalisations affects patients’ quality of life”

Christina Saverino

The study found that about 36% had been readmitted within three years of their initial injury due to a variety of factors.

Previously, readmission rates had been reported at about 25%, they said in the journal Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

The study found that being male, of older age, and more co existing health conditions were significant predictors of readmission for traumatic brain injury patients.

“Re-hospitalisations affects patients’ quality of life and put a strain on the healthcare system,” said lead study author Cristina Saverino, from the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute.

Consistent with previous reports, traumatic brain injury patients discharged with mental health conditions were found to have a higher rate of readmission than others.

In contrast, the study found the risk of readmission was lower for traumatic brain injury patients involved in motor vehicle collisions.

Dr Colantonio highlighted that in Canada patients involved in traffic accidents were more likely to be discharged with support services than other brain injury patients, due to additional insurance cover.

“This may suggest that additional care and rehabilitation provided earlier to all people with traumatic brain injury could reduce the high costs of readmission,” she said.

Dr Colantonio noted that common causes of readmission varied by age group and sex.

She said: “Our next step will be to examine the comorbidities associated with re-hospitalisations using a more comprehensive set of data. This will be crucial in identifying the best methods to reduce readmissions down the road.”

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