The number of infants suffering from head trauma leading to brain injury has increased significantly during the recession. New research indicates that the number of infants who had to be rushed to the hospital for treatment of non-accidental head trauma almost doubled during the recession.
The study was conducted by researchers at University Hospital’s Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland. The researchers reviewed cases of non-accident head trauma that was admitted into the hospital among children below the age of two years. The data is from December 2001 and June 2010. A total of 639 infants below the age of two were admitted to the hospital for a traumatic injury, and 93 of these cases were classified as non-accident head trauma. Between December 2007 and June 2010, the researchers found a total of 43 cases of non-accident head trauma. In comparison, they found just 50 cases during the non-recession period between December 2001 and November 2007.
Also, the researchers noticed an increase in the severity of the injury during the recession, leading to more deaths and more cases of long-term disability from severe brain injury.
This isn’t the first study that confirms that there has been an increase in non-accidental head trauma during the recession. In fact, the study only confirms what California brain injury lawyers had earlier found in a study conducted in 2010 by at the University of Pittsburgh. That study analyzed injuries among children and infants between 2004 and 2009 and found that cases of abusive brain injury among infants per month were almost twice as many during the recession, compared to before the recession.
Researchers are at a loss to explain this startling increase in the number of infants with non-accidental brain injury during the recession. However, they are pointing to strained financial conditions, causing immense stress among parents. With states around the country slashing budgets for social services programs, and programs that support children and families, the safety of children have suffered.