PITTSBURGH, ALLEGHENY COUNTY - More and more people are going to the hospital with head injuries. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh analyzed data from almost a thousand hospitals between 2006 and 2010.
For 2010, they found about 2.5 million emergency department visits for traumatic brain injuries - a 29-percent increase from 2006.
Children under 3 and adults over 60 had the largest increase in traumatic brain injury rates.
At UPMC Altoona, Emergency Department Director Dr. Matthew Bouchard says records show a larger increase in the rate of brain injuries in older people, but overall, the figures are similar to those in the report.
Dr. Bouchard says the focus on head injuries in sports has percolated down to the general public and more people are aware that hitting your head can have long-term effects.
"Not everybody knows whether they have a serious injury or not and I think whether you're concerned that you hit your head and you have any kind of symptoms, I think it's reasonable to get evaluated for that."
He thinks increased awareness is largely responsible for the increase in TBIs recorded by emergency rooms.