Treatment and outcomes for pediatric head injuries in Mississippi
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This report summarizes the treatments and outcomes of a large series of patients with pediatric head injuries (PHIs), who were admitted to a tertiary pediatric trauma center at the University of Mississippi Medical Center from January 1, 2003 through December 31, 2006.
Data were retrieved from the Department of Neurosurgery’s Brain Trauma Registry (BTR) on patients who are ≤16 years old. Data include Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) and injury severity scores (ISS) on admission and Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) scores at 6 months follow-up.
The BTR registered 554 patients with accidental and nonaccidental PHIs. Follow-up was complete in 98.2%. Aggressive first-tier management with ventricular drainage was used to lower intracranial pressure. Vasopressors were used only to correct hypotension. Second-tier therapies were used infrequently. Craniectomies (14 patients) were associated with good outcomes (GOS 4–5) in nine patients; hypothermia (six patients) and barbiturate (four patients) therapies were ineffective. All 439 patients with ISS <25 showed good outcomes. Fifteen of 16 patients with GCS >8 and ISS ≥25 had good outcomes. In 134 patients with severe PHIs (GCS ≤8), all 45 with ISS <25 and 46 with ISS ≥25 showed good outcomes. Forty-three patients with GCS ≤8 and ISS ≥25 had poor outcomes. Of these patients, 38 died; 22 died within 3 days of admission.
This study indicated that poor outcomes occurred only in PHIs with severe generalized trauma. While 28.4% of patients with GSC ≤8 died, more than half of these sustained nonsurvivable injuries. Aggressive medical management with ventricular drainage was the mainstay of therapy.