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Neurocritical Care

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 4–13 | Cite as

Recommendations for the Critical Care Management of Devastating Brain Injury: Prognostication, Psychosocial, and Ethical Management

A Position Statement for Healthcare Professionals from the Neurocritical Care Society
  • Michael J. Souter
  • Patricia A. Blissitt
  • Sandralee Blosser
  • Jordan Bonomo
  • David Greer
  • Draga Jichici
  • Dea Mahanes
  • Evie G. Marcolini
  • Charles Miller
  • Kiranpal Sangha
  • Susan Yeager
Review Article

Abstract

Devastating brain injuries (DBIs) profoundly damage cerebral function and frequently cause death. DBI survivors admitted to critical care will suffer both intracranial and extracranial effects from their brain injury. The indicators of quality care in DBI are not completely defined, and despite best efforts many patients will not survive, although others may have better outcomes than originally anticipated. Inaccuracies in prognostication can result in premature termination of life support, thereby biasing outcomes research and creating a self-fulfilling cycle where the predicted course is almost invariably dismal. Because of the potential complexities and controversies involved in the management of devastating brain injury, the Neurocritical Care Society organized a panel of expert clinicians from neurocritical care, neuroanesthesia, neurology, neurosurgery, emergency medicine, nursing, and pharmacy to develop an evidence-based guideline with practice recommendations. The panel intends for this guideline to be used by critical care physicians, neurologists, emergency physicians, and other health professionals, with specific emphasis on management during the first 72-h post-injury. Following an extensive literature review, the panel used the GRADE methodology to evaluate the robustness of the data. They made actionable recommendations based on the quality of evidence, as well as on considerations of risk: benefit ratios, cost, and user preference. The panel generated recommendations regarding prognostication, psychosocial issues, and ethical considerations.

Keywords

Devastating brain injury Critical care management Neurocritical care Evidence Guidelines Recommendations GRADE 

Notes

Conflicts of interest

Michael J. Souter has received salary support paid to the University of Washington as Medical Director, Lifecenter Northwest, Organ Procurement Organization (Non-profit). Patricia A. Blissitt has received a salary from the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses as the Editor of the AANN Clinical Practice Guidelines. Sandralee A. Blosser, Jordan B. Bonomo, David M. Greer, Draga Jichici, Dea Mahanes, Evie G. Marcolini, Charles J. Miller, Kiranpal Sangha, and Susan Yeager declares no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael J. Souter
    • 1
  • Patricia A. Blissitt
    • 2
    • 3
  • Sandralee Blosser
    • 4
    • 5
  • Jordan Bonomo
    • 6
    • 7
  • David Greer
    • 8
  • Draga Jichici
    • 9
  • Dea Mahanes
    • 10
  • Evie G. Marcolini
    • 11
  • Charles Miller
    • 12
  • Kiranpal Sangha
    • 13
  • Susan Yeager
    • 14
  1. 1.Departments of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine, and Neurological surgery, Harborview Medical CenterUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Harborview Medical CenterUniversity of Washington School of NursingSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Swedish Medical CenterSeattleUSA
  4. 4.Pittsburgh Critical Care AssociatesPittsburghUSA
  5. 5.Penn State Hershey Medical CenterHersheyUSA
  6. 6.Department of Emergency Medicine, Division of Critical CareUniversity of Cincinnati College of MedicineCincinnatiUSA
  7. 7.Department of Neurosurgery, Division of Neurocritical CareUniversity of Cincinnati College of MedicineCincinnatiUSA
  8. 8.Departments of Neurology and NeurosurgeryYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  9. 9.Department of Neurology and Critical Care MedicineMcMaster UniversityHamiltonUSA
  10. 10.University of Virginia Health SystemCharlottesvilleUSA
  11. 11.Departments of Emergency Medicine and Neurology, Divisions of Neurocritical Care and Emergency Neurology and Surgical Critical CareYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  12. 12.Sanford University South Dakota School of MedicineSioux FallsUSA
  13. 13.University of Cincinnati Medical Center and University of Cincinnati College of PharmacyCincinnatiUSA
  14. 14.The Ohio State University Wexner Medical CenterColumbusUSA

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