RESEARCH – July 2004

Traumatic brain injury in children


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Severe traumatic brain injury is a devastating condition in paediatric critical care practice, resulting often in mortality or significant morbidity. As primary brain injury cannot be reversed, all efforts should be directed at preventing or reversing secondary insults in order to improve outcome.

In a retrospective study, 91 cases of brain injury were from the period 1999–2003. Among them, 51 were classified as severe brain injury (Glasgow Coma Scale ≤8). The treatment of elevated intracranial pressure (ICP) consisted of mechanical ventilation, analgosedation, hyperosmolar therapy, barbiturate coma. Treatment outcome in the children was assessed using the Glasgow Outcome Scale. With rapidly improving knowledge of the patophysiology and treatment options, one can look forward to better outcome in the near future.