Traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects 1.7 million Americans every year,
contributing to chronic health complications, which may include cognitive
and psychosocial impairments. Demographic studies suggest that black people
and those of low socioeconomic status (regardless of race) are more likely
to sustain a TBI, but there is a lack of conclusive research on the impact
of race and socioeconomic status
after a TBI has been sustained.
To address this lack of research, a recent study examined the effect of
race/ethnicity and health insurance standing on TBI outcomes, such as
mortality rates and length of hospital stay. A group of researchers in
Wisconsin reviewed data from the National Trauma Data Bank, analyzing
demography and injury statistics to determine this relationship. After
analysis of 187,354 records of people with TBI, the researchers found that:
- Compared to white patients, black and Hispanic patients were more likely
to undergo medical procedures related to TBI.
- Black and Hispanic patients typically remained in hospice for more time
after sustaining TBI, though both groups were less likely to die in the hospital.
Black patients were
more likely and Hispanics
less likely to be discharged to rehabilitation post-TBI.
- Compared to patients with private insurance, uninsured TBI patients typically
were less likely to undergo a TBI-related medical procedure, remained
in hospice for more time after injury, and were less likely to participate
in rehabilitation programs.
TBI is a significant public health concern in the United States, yet specific
demographic outcomes are rarely considered during patient treatment and
discharge. The results of this study indicate that race, ethnicity and
insurance coverage considerably impact patients’ post-TBI health
outcomes, and clinicians should be advised to account for these factors
during patient treatment.
Source: McQuistion K, Zens T, Jung HS, et al. Insurance status and race
affect treatment and outcome of traumatic brain injury.
Journal of Surgical Research. (September 2016).
Contact us to speak with an attorney at Scarlett Law Group about your brain injury.