The epidemiology of childhood brain injury in the state of Selangor and Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Ee Lin Tay, Shaun Wen Huey Lee, Sabariah Faizah Jamaluddin, Cai Lian Tam, Chee Piau Wong

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Background: There are limited studies describing the epidemiology of childhood brain injury, especially in developing countries. This study analyses data from the Malaysian National Trauma Database (NTrD) registry to estimate the incidence of childhood brain injury among various demographic groups within the state of Selangor and Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur. Methods: This study analysed all traumatic brain injury cases for children ages 0-19 included in the 2010 NTrD report. Results: A total of 5,836 paediatric patients were admitted to emergency departments (ED) of reporting hospitals for trauma. Of these, 742 patients (12.7%) suffered from brain injuries. Among those with brain injuries, the mortality rate was 11.9 and 71.2% were aged between 15 and 19. Traffic accidents were the most common mode of injury (95.4%). Out of the total for traffic accidents, 80.2% of brain injuries were incurred in motorcycle accidents. Severity of injury was higher among males and patients who were transferred or referred to the reporting centres from other clinics. Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) total score and type of admission were found to be statistically significant, χ 2 (5, N=178)=66.53, p<0.001, in predicting patient outcomes. According to this analysis, the overall rate of childhood brain injury for this one year period was 32 per 100,000 children while the incidence of significant (moderate to severe) brain injury was approximately 8 per 100,000 children. Conclusions: This study provides an overview of traumatic brain injury rates among children within the most populous region of Malaysia. Most brain injuries occurred among older male children, with traffic, specifically motorcycle-related, accidents being the main mode of injury. These findings point to risk factors that could be targeted for future injury prevention programs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number56
Number of pages6
JournalBMC Pediatrics
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2016


  • Children
  • Incidence
  • Road traffic accident
  • Traumatic brain injury

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