Exploring Traumatic Brain Injury Mechanisms and Severity Using Electronic Health Records

Flashtalk and poster presenting preliminary results for a study on TBI among female patients at Penn Medicine

By Silvia Canelón, Rebecca Morse, Mary Regina Boland in Research

April 27, 2022


April 27, 2022


10:00 AM – 2:00 PM


Philadelphia, PA & Virtual


This abstract was one of 10 selected for a flashtalk presentation. And the flashtalk received an award! 🎉

The talk recording will be available to the public on April 28, 2022. The accompanying (PowerPoint) slides are available to download using the “Slides” link above.

Poster thumbnail 2022 CCEB & DBEI Research Day Poster (letter)



Often referred to as the “silent epidemic,” Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a public health concern contributing to disability and death worldwide. Our study describes a cohort of TBI patients within the Penn Medicine health system and the distribution of TBI injury mechanisms and severity.


We obtained Electronic Health Record data for 1,060,100 female patients treated at Penn Medicine inpatient or outpatient clinics from 2010-2017. We identified patients with TBI diagnoses using ICD-9/10 codes and the Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Defense (DOD) definitions for TBI and TBI severity. The CDC/DOD codes for TBI were then manually annotated with mechanisms of TBI injury (e.g. Sport Mechanism of Injury, Collision or Crash, Foreign Body Object). The highest TBI severity category was noted for each patient and defined, in increasing severity, as “Mild,” “Moderate,” “Severe,” or “Penetrating.” We report the distribution of TBI mechanisms and severity among this patient population.


There were 4,392 patients with a total of 9,800 TBI diagnoses. The majority of diagnoses in the cohort were Mild (5,704; 58%), followed by Moderate (3,840; 39%), Severe (173; 1.8%), and Penetrating (83; 0.8%). The following are the six most common mechanisms observed to contribute to TBI diagnoses: “Injury,” “Mechanism of Injury,” “Accidents,” “Physical Accidents,” “Fall Mechanism of Injury,” and “Traffic Vehicle Accident.”

Posted on:
April 27, 2022
2 minute read, 270 words
See Also:
Medication-Wide Association Study Using Electronic Health Record Data of Prescription Medication Exposure and Multifetal Pregnancies: Retrospective Study
Design and Evaluation of a Postpartum Depression Ontology
Lessons Learned from the EHR