Exploring Traumatic Brain Injury in Children

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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the leading public health concerns today. The Center for Disease and Control (2010) reported that 1.7 million individuals sustain TBI each year). Moreover, TBI accounts to a third (30.5%) of all injury related deaths in the United States. Those who are most likely to sustain TBI are children (0-4 years), older adolescents (15-19 years) and older adults (65+ years) (CDC, 2010). This analysis will examine the prevalence, diagnosis, treatments, and prognosis of traumatic brain injuries in children.

Brain injuries can be classified into mild, moderate, and severe categories. The most commonly used assessment for classifying TBI severity is by using the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS). This scale assesses individual’s level of consciousness based on verbal, motor, and eye responses to stimuli. Researchers Kung et al (2010) analyzed the components of Glasgow coma scale (GCS) from 27,625 TBI cases in Taiwan. The correlation between the survival rate and certain eye (E), motor (M) and verbal (V) score combinations for GCS (scores of 6, 11, 12, &13) were found to be statistically significant. The findings indicate that the three fundamental elements comprising the Glasgow coma scale (E, M, & V) separately and in some combinations are predictive of the survival of TBI patients. The researchers assert that this observation is clinically useful when a complete GCS score cannot be obtained when evaluating TBI patients.

Confirmative neuroimaging scans plays a pivotal role in TBI diagnosis, prognosis, and deciding what treatments to give. CT is the preferred method of assessment on admission to determine structural damage and to detect (developing) intracranial hematomas (Maas, Stocchetti, Bullock, 2008).

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