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AACN Adv Crit Care. 2012 Apr-Jun;23(2):188-203. doi: 10.1097/NCI.0b013e31824db4f3.

Controversies in the management of adults with severe traumatic brain injury.

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Harborview Medical Center, Seattle, WA 98104, USA.


Despite progress in the management of adults with severe traumatic brain injury, several controversies persist. Among the unresolved issues of greatest concern to neurocritical care clinicians and scientists are the following: (1) the best use of technological advances and the data obtained from multimodality monitoring; (2) the use of mannitol and hypertonic saline in the management of increased intracranial pressure; (3) the use of decompressive craniectomy and barbiturate coma in refractory increased intracranial pressure; (4) therapeutic hypothermia as a neuroprotectant; (5) anemia and the role of blood transfusion; and (6) venous thromboembolism prophylaxis in severe traumatic brain injury. Each of these strategies for managing severe traumatic brain injury, including the postulated mechanism(s) of action and beneficial effects of each intervention, adverse effects, the state of the science, and critical care nursing implications, is discussed.

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