Trauma is the leading cause of death in individuals between the ages of 0 and 19 years, with the highest rate of mortality in children ages 0 to 4, according presenters at a recent AONeuro webinar regarding the rising rate of traumatic brain injuries in children.
Aurelia Peraud, MD, PhD, and colleagues Stephen B. Lewis, MD, and Christian Matula, MD, PhD, discussed the dangers of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in children and how to successfully treat one of the injuries.
“There are several early indicators of prognosis in severe TBI in children: Glasgow Coma Scale, age, pupillary diameter and light reflex. Hypotension, hypoxia — they all play in for a useful prognosis,” Matula said. “One can see that at discharge, the group with the best outcomes were in the 5- to 10-year-old group; they had the lowest mortality. The highest mortality was in the infant group.”
Peraud said approximately 200 children per every 100,000 in the population aged 0 to 15 years will experience a TBI, with adolescents between the ages of 10 and 15 having the highest rate of injury.
Although most symptoms in children resolve over time with no intervention, Lewis said, children 10 years and older with TBIs are at a higher risk to develop epilepsy, have sleeping disorders, and can have balance and postural stability deficiencies.
Peraud said physicians need to understand that treating a child with a TBI is different than treating an adult patient with the same injury. More specific centers that only treat pediatric TBI need to be developed, she said.
“Children are not little adults; they do have special characteristics that should be known when treating them,” Peraud said. “It is important to correctly assess a pediatric patient, and to start adequate therapy as early as possible.” – by Robert Linnehan
AONeuro Webcast – Pediatric TBI. Dec. 15, 2014. Accessed: Dec. 15, 2014.
Disclosure: The speakers have no relevant financial disclosures.