Vehicle crashes leading cause of brain injuries
March 19 2019 10:28 PM
Dr Sandro Rizol (L), Dr Sirajeddin Belkhair
Dr Sandro Rizol(L), Dr Sirajeddin Belkhair

A majority of patients admitted to the Hamad Trauma Centre with serious brain injuries were involved in road accidents, figures show. 
The data from Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Qatar Trauma Registry, 70% of patients sustained brain injuries as a result of vehicle crashes. 
The HMC Neurosurgery Department and the Hamad Trauma Centre released the data as part of their activities to mark World Head Injury Awareness Day today. 
The data shows that traumatic brain injuries equate to more than 10% of all trauma admissions. Around 70% of these are caused by motor vehicle crashes, with approximately 27% caused by falls from height. 
World Head Injury Awareness Day aims to raise awareness about the full spectrum of head injuries, ranging from a mild bump to a severe brain injury. This year, the Hamad Trauma Centre is collaborating with HMC’s Neurosurgery Department to highlight the severity of head injuries caused by motor vehicle crashes and the importance of following simple safety measures in their prevention.
“Every year, between 2,000 and 2,500 patients are admitted to our Hamad Trauma Centre and around 250 of these patients are admitted as a result of a traumatic brain injury due to a motor vehicle crash,” explained Dr Sandro Rizoli, medical director of the Hamad Trauma Centre.
“A traumatic brain injury is a severe form of head injury, one that leads to disruption in the normal function of the brain. Traumatic brain injuries can be fatal or cause long-term disability for the victim. For this reason, it is vital that we not only provide the highest quality care for patients suffering traumatic brain injuries but that we also work to raise awareness of what can be done to prevent them,” added Dr Rizoli. 
Dr Sirajeddin Belkhair, head of neurosurgery, explained that in 2018 approximately 600 traumatic brain injury cases were seen at Hamad General Hospital’s Emergency Department and the Neurosurgery Department performed potentially life-saving surgical procedures on 184 of these patients. 
“All too often our neurosurgeons see first-hand the devastating result that a motor vehicle crash can have on the victim’s brain. A severe head injury can lead to memory loss, paralysis, and even death. And it is not only the victims themselves who are affected – the debilitating impact of a traumatic brain injury can change the lives of the victim’s family as they often have to provide long-term care and assistance for the victim,” said Dr Belkhair.
“In Qatar, as in most countries around the world, motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of traumatic brain injuries. But what is particularly concerning is that the percentage of traumatic brain injuries caused by motor vehicle crashes is higher here in Qatar than internationally – 70% compared to around 50% globally,” added Dr Belkhair.

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