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Evaluating the Limitations of Post-traumatic Amnesia as a Severity Scale Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) account to a third (30.5%) of all injury-related deaths in the U.S. with an estimated 1.7 million individuals sustaining TBI each year (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010). Classifications of brain injury (e.g., mild, moderate and severe) is mostly done using the Glasgow coma scale (GCS) which has gained broad acceptance for the assessment of the severity of brain damage (Bauer & Fritz, 2004). Recent studies suggest that almost all patients with moderate or severe TBI have a period of recovery during which they are responsive but confused. This state is commonly referred to as the post-traumatic amnesia. Post-traumatic amnesia (PTA) is defined as “a failure of continuous memory” (Artiola et al., 1980; p.377).
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Neurosurgery, 67(4), 1020-1028. doi: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e3181ee33e2 Smits, M., Houston, C., Dippel, W., Wielopolski, A., Vernooij, W., Koudstaal, J., Hunink, G., & Van Der Lugt, A. (2011). Microstructural brain injury in post-concussion syndrome after minor head injury. Neuroradiology, 53(8), 553-563. doi: 10.1007/s00234-010-0774-6
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Early recognition and accurate diagnosis are essential for children that present with this traumatic injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2012), the incidence of pediatric abusive head trauma vary, but most range from 20 to 30 cases per 100,000 children under 1 year of age. The incidence rate is noted to decrease with the increasing age of the child. The incidence is substantially higher with children 1 year of age and younger. The purpose of this paper is to discuss pediatric abusive head trauma, its physical manifestations, diagnosis and treatment, outcome and prognosis, and prevention and education.