Prevalence of Clinically Important Traumatic Brain Injuries in Children With Minor Blunt Head Trauma and Isolated Severe Injury Mechanisms
Division of Emergency Medicine, Children's Hospital, Boston, 300 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA 02115, USA. JAMA Pediatrics
(Impact Factor: 5.73).
12/2011; 166(4):356-61. DOI: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.1156
To determine the prevalence of clinically important traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) with severe injury mechanisms in children with minor blunt head trauma but with no other risk factors from the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN) TBI prediction rules (defined as isolated severe injury mechanisms).
Secondary analysis of a large prospective observational cohort study.
Twenty-five emergency departments participating in the PECARN.
Children with minor blunt head trauma and Glasgow Coma Scale scores of at least 14.
Treating clinicians completed a structured data form that included injury mechanism (severity categories defined a priori).
Clinically important TBIs were defined as intracranial injuries resulting in death, neurosurgical intervention, intubation for more than 24 hours, or hospital admission for at least 2 nights. We investigated the rate of clinically important TBIs in children with either severe injury mechanisms or isolated severe injury mechanisms.
Of the 42,412 patients enrolled in the overall study, 42,099 (99%) had injury mechanisms recorded, and their data were included for analysis. Of all study patients, 5869 (14%) had severe injury mechanisms, and 3302 (8%) had isolated severe injury mechanisms. Overall, 367 children had clinically important TBIs (0.9%; 95% CI, 0.8%-1.0%). Of the 1327 children younger than 2 years with isolated severe injury mechanisms, 4 (0.3%; 95% CI, 0.1%-0.8%) had clinically important TBIs, as did 12 of the 1975 children 2 years or older (0.6%; 95% CI, 0.3%-1.1%).
Children with isolated severe injury mechanisms are at low risk of clinically important TBI, and many do not require emergent neuroimaging.
Available from: Tobias A. Mattei
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Bicycle accidents are a very important cause of clinically important traumatic brain injury (TBI) in children. One factor that has been shown to mitigate the severity of lesions associated with TBI in such scenarios is the proper use of a helmet. The object of this study was to test and evaluate the protection afforded by a children's bicycle helmet to human cadaver skulls with a child's anthropometry in both "impact" and "crushing" situations.
The authors tested human skulls with and without bicycle helmets in drop tests in a monorail-guided free-fall impact apparatus from heights of 6 to 48 in onto a flat steel anvil. Unhelmeted skulls were dropped at 6 in, with progressive height increases until failure (fracture). The maximum resultant acceleration rates experienced by helmeted and unhelmeted skulls on impact were recorded by an accelerometer attached to the skulls. In addition, compressive forces were applied to both helmeted and unhelmeted skulls in progressive amounts. The tolerance in each circumstance was recorded and compared between the two groups.
Helmets conferred up to an 87% reduction in so-called mean maximum resultant acceleration over unhelmeted skulls. In compression testing, helmeted skulls were unable to be crushed in the compression fixture up to 470 pound-force (approximately 230 kgf), whereas both skull and helmet alone failed in testing.
Children's bicycle helmets provide measurable protection in terms of attenuating the acceleration experienced by a skull on the introduction of an impact force. Moreover, such helmets have the durability to mitigate the effects of a more rare but catastrophic direct compressive force. Therefore, the use of bicycle helmets is an important preventive tool to reduce the incidence of severe associated TBI in children as well as to minimize the morbidity of its neurological consequences.
Available from: Jeffrey J Bazarian
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ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE To determine the acute predictors associated with the development of postconcussion syndrome (PCS) in children and adolescents after mild traumatic brain injury. DESIGN Retrospective analysis of a prospective observational study. SETTING Pediatric emergency department (ED) in a children's hospital. PARTICIPANTS Four hundred six children and adolescents aged 5 to 18 years. MAIN EXPOSURE Closed head trauma. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES The Rivermead Post Concussion Symptoms Questionnaire administered 3 months after the injury. RESULTS Of the patients presenting to the ED with mild traumatic brain injury, 29.3% developed PCS. The most frequent PCS symptom was headache. Predictors of PCS, while controlling for other factors, were being of adolescent age, headache on presentation to the ED, and admission to the hospital. Patients who developed PCS missed a mean (SD) of 7.4 (13.9) days of school. CONCLUSIONS Adolescents who have headache on ED presentation and require hospital admission at the ED encounter are at elevated risk for PCS after mild traumatic brain injury. Interventions to identify this population and begin early treatment may improve outcomes and reduce the burden of disease.
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This study aimed to explore the ability of the serum marker S100B to predict the development and severity of postconcussion syndrome (PCS) at 3 months in children after mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI).
This is a retrospective analysis of a prospective observational study conducted in a pediatric emergency department (ED). Children were eligible for the study if they were between the ages 5 and 18 years, presented within 6 hours of injury, met the case definition of mTBI from American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, had a Glasgow Coma Scale score of greater than 13, consented to have blood drawn for S100B levels, and completed the 3-month telephone follow-up. At the follow-up, the Rivermead Postconcussion Questionnaire was conducted to determine the development and severity of PCS.
A total of 76 children were included in this cohort. The children had a mean (SD) age of 14.0 (3.1) years, 60.5% were male, and 89.5% had a Glasgow Coma Scale of 15. Twenty-eight (36.8%) developed PCS. For the children who developed PCS, the mean (SD) S100B level was 0.092 (0.376) µg/L. For children who did not develop PCS (n = 48), the mean (SD) S100B level was 0.022 (0.031) µg/L. The analyses did not support an association between initial S100B levels measured in the ED and development of PCS or severity of PCS symptoms.
In this small sample, S100B, measured immediately after injury in the ED, did not seem to predict those children with mTBI who will go on to develop PCS.
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