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Childs Nerv Syst. 1991 Oct;7(6):299-304.

Do children with severe head injury benefit from intensive care?

Author information

1
Department of Neurological Surgery, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Pendlebury, UK.

Abstract

Intensive management of severe closed head injury is pursued in most neurosurgical units, as it no doubt reduces mortality. However, the fate of those salvaged from death is less clearly defined. The impact of aggressive management on the psychological recovery is even less clear. This retrospective study of children admitted to a regional paediatric neurosurgical service attempts to address these issues. Eighty-four children between the ages of 3 to 16 years with severe head injuries were studied and categorized according to conservative or intensive treatment groups. The availability of intensive management led to a greater number of such children referred. The mortality in those children sustaining more severe injury, i.e. Glasgow Coma Score (GCS) 3 or 4, was halved (44%) with intensive management from 80% in the conservative group. For those with less severe injury (GCS 5-8), it was unchanged at about 23%. The reduced mortality is at the expense of increased morbidity. Psychological testing showed that the cognitive recovery was comparable.

PMID:
1764703
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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