Report: Most sports brain injuries occur in youth

An estimated 135,000 (65%) of sports and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries (TBI) treated in U.S. emergency departments occur each year in young people ages 5 to 18, according to a study published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC; Atlanta) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

About 8%, or more than 10,000, of these young people were hospitalized, the study said. Traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, are caused by a blow or bump to the head that disrupts the way the brain normally works. CDC researchers examined data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System All Injury Program (NEISS-AIP) from 2001 to 2005 and looked at both the overall number of traumatic brain injury-related emergency department visits and the activities with the greatest percentage of emergency department visits for that activity related to TBIs.

The study found that, when it came to 5 to 18 year olds, the sport and recreation activities that generated the greatest number of emergency department visits for treatment of traumatic brain injuries were popular activities such as bicycling, football, basketball, playground activities, and soccer. The study also found that some sport and recreation activities resulted in a higher percentage of traumatic brain injury-related emergency department visits. Among 5 to 18 year- olds, horseback riding, ice skating, riding all-terrain vehicles, hockey and tobogganing/sledding were the sport and recreation activities with the highest percentage of visits for that activity related to TBIs.

Xoft gets CPT code approval

The American Medical Association (AMA; Washington) common procedural terminology (CPT) editorial panel recently approved a CPT code for the use of electronic brachytherapy, a form of high-dose rate radiation therapy for the treatment of early-stage breast cancer. According to Xoft (Fremont, California), developer of the Axxent electronic brachytherapy system, a cancer treatment platform, this decision is an important step in accelerating the adoption of the new treatment option designed to deliver targeted radiation therapy directly to cancer sites with minimal radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissue.

The CPT code for electronic brachytherapy will be included in the upcoming AMA CPT 2008 codebook. Additionally, the Category III CPT Code 0182T: high-dose rate electronic brachytherapy, per fraction, has been assigned a New Technology Ambulatory Payment Classification (APC). The APC payment includes the high-dose rate electronic brachytherapy radiation treatment and the cost of the X-ray source.

CPT codes are used by physicians and medical facilities to bill commercial insurers and Medicare for the full range of services they provide. This

New Technology APC assignment secures payment for Medicare patients who receive the Axxent Electronic Brachytherapy radiation treatment in the hospital outpatient setting.

Xoft is developing new technologies for radiation oncology through electronic brachytherapy, which utilizes proprietary miniaturized X-ray tube technology.

SCA introduces new web site

The Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) Coalition (Washington) reported the launch of a comprehensive website to underscore the coalition's efforts to stop cardiac arrest. The website,, contains information about the prevalence of SCA, possible risk factors, as well as provides tools and resources for how to learn even more, all demonstrating the need for greater research, awareness and access to treatment.

"With this new website, we will be able to educate both the American public and the decision-makers in Washington on the urgency of addressing sudden cardiac arrest," said Charlie Jones, VP of Communications for the Heart Rhythm Society, and co-chair of the SCA Coalition. "From illustrating the broad and deadly impact of SCA with an interactive map of the U.S., to telling the personal stories of those who've been directly affected by SCA, this website will be a key tool in demonstrating that it is time to focus the government's attention and significant resources on a killer that claims more than 250,000 lives each year."