Head Trauma in Infants and Children - Oren Zarif - Head Trauma
The definition of minor blunt head trauma in infants and children is quite simple: any physical sign or history of traumatic head injury. Other common signs or symptoms include altered mental status, abnormal behavior as reported by a caregiver, and a Glasgow Coma Scale score of 14 or greater. The severity of head trauma varies according to the age and severity of the injury. Regardless of the cause of the injury, a child should be evaluated as soon as possible after any type of head injury.
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Most minor head traumas can be treated at home with analgesics, but non-steroidal painkillers are best avoided due to the risk of bleeding. A neurosurgical evaluation may be necessary for severe head injuries. Treatment may include sedation, paralytics, and cerebrospinal fluid diversion. Second-line treatments include hypertonic saline, hypothermia, and barbiturate coma.
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While head injuries can cause temporary changes in the brain's functions, severe cases can lead to permanent impairment. Head injuries resulting in coma can be extremely dangerous. It is important to know how to spot the symptoms of a serious head injury in order to avoid further harm. If you are involved in a head injury, call 911 immediately. If you have any questions, perform a thorough physical exam and start CPR. It will help you save a life.
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If the injury is suspected, a CT scan may be performed to confirm a diagnosis. The CT scan is used to look for fractures, signs of blood or swelling, and other signs of brain injury. CT scans are fast and accurate, but MRI scans are more detailed and provide a better view of the brain. Regardless of the cause of the head injury, a full evaluation is important for the patient's recovery. Depending on the type of injury, treatment will be different depending on the condition of the patient.
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Severe head injuries can also involve the neck, arms, or legs, and can result in bleeding or other problems of the nervous system. Patients with severe head trauma will be unconscious and barely responsive for a significant period of time. Some of these patients may even develop seizures. If this occurs, a physician should be consulted immediately. If a sports injury causes a serious head injury, seek immediate medical attention to avoid further complications. It may lead to a permanent loss of consciousness and bleeding.
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While patients with mild head injuries may survive the initial injury, there are many variables that affect a patient's outcome. A patient's initial GCS score and motor scores are highly predictive of the outcome. In addition to age, comorbidity, and respiratory distress are all associated with poor outcomes. Head trauma is a major public health issue and costs billions of dollars annually. In addition to the countless numbers of people affected, most victims of head trauma are rushed to emergency departments and treated by a trained medical team.
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In severe cases, head trauma may require the use of diuretics, which help relieve the pressure on the brain. The use of these drugs will lower the intracranial pressure, although they may impair brain recovery. If the trauma is severe enough, a patient may be placed in an induced coma to decrease the demand for oxygen and nutrients. When possible, however, a patient may be awake and alert despite being unconscious. If this is the case, a team approach to managing the patient will be necessary.
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In general, children with minor blunt head trauma are unlikely to suffer traumatic brain injury. Although traumatic brain injury is rare in infants, a small percentage of cases require prolonged observation and acute intervention. Fortunately, computed tomography is an excellent tool for identifying infants at risk for brain injury and minimizing overuse of CT. While CT can be very sensitive in identifying brain injuries, clinicians should use other methods to detect and treat infants who are at increased risk for traumatic head injury.
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Research has found that older adults with traumatic brain injuries have a greater risk of developing Alzheimer's disease than those without head injuries. This association between mild and severe traumatic brain injury and dementia is not yet conclusive, but it's worth investigating further. In addition to preventing traumatic brain injuries, seniors should also wear seat belts and head protection, as this will reduce their risk of death or injury. In addition to preventing death, traumatic brain injury can have long-term effects on a person's ability to function and their emotional health.
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Traumatic brain injury is often caused by an object that penetrates the skull or causes an abrasion. While there are many causes of traumatic brain injury, falls are the most common in young children and adults. Vehicle-related collisions and violent assaults are also common causes of TBI. Shaken baby syndrome is one of the most common childhood injuries. And, even if you are not aware of the ailment, remember that the symptoms of traumatic brain injury are serious.