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Cureus. 2021 Jun 30;13(6):e16050. doi: 10.7759/cureus.16050. eCollection 2021 Jun.
Background Pediatric traumatic brain injury represents a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Broadly healthcare disparities exist for ethnic and racial minorities in the United States but it has not previously be evaluated how these disparities might influence outcomes in pediatric traumatic brain injury. Methods We sought all hospital admissions between the years 2006 and 2011 for patients aged 0-17 years admitted with traumatic brain injuries as identified by the International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision (ICD-9) code, from a statewide database of all civilian hospital admissions. Demographic information including race, ethnicity, insurance status and illness severity as calculated by All Patient Refined-Diagnosis Related Group (APR-DRG) were analysed versus the disposition at discharge. Results 14,087 pediatric traumatic brain injury patients were admitted between 2006 and 2011. Pediatric traumatic brain injury patients of ethnic or racial minority had higher rates of in-hospital mortality as compared to whites (4.2% versus 3.3%, p = 0.009) and were less likely to be discharged to inpatient rehabilitation (2.9% versus 4%, p < 0.001). These disparities persisted even when controlling for insurance status and illness severity. Conclusion Ethnic and racial minority children from the U.S. state of Texas suffer worse short-term outcomes following traumatic brain injury than their white counterparts. Strategies are needed for addressing this disparity.