Objective: The objective of the study was to describe the epidemiology, cranial computed tomography (CT) findings, and clinical outcomes of children with blunt head trauma after television tip-over injuries. Methods: We performed a secondary analysis of children younger than 18 years prospectively evaluated for blunt head trauma at 25 emergency departments (EDs) in the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network from June 2004 to September 2006. Children injured from falling televisions were included. Patients were excluded if injuries occurred more than 24 hours before ED evaluation or if neuroimaging was obtained before evaluation. Data collected included age, race, sex, cranial CT findings, and clinical outcomes. Clinically important traumatic brain injuries (ciTBIs) were defined as death from TBI, neurosurgery, intubation for more than 24 hours for the TBI, or hospital admission of 2 nights or more for the head injury, in association with TBI on CT. Results: A total of 43,904 children were enrolled into the primary study and 218 (0.5%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.4% to 0.6%) were struck by falling televisions. The median (interquartile range) age of the 218 patients was 3.1 (1.9-4.9) years. Seventy-five (34%) of the 218 underwent CT scanning. Ten (13.3%; 95% CI, 6.6% to 23.2%) of the 75 patients with an ED CT had traumatic findings on cranial CT scan. Six patients met the criteria for ciTBI. Three of these patients died. All 6 patients with ciTBIs were younger than 5 years. Conclusions: Television tip-overs may cause ciTBIs in children, including death, and the most severe injuries occur in children 5 years or younger. These injuries may be preventable by simple preventive measures such as anchoring television sets with straps.
- head trauma
- traumatic brain injury