Opin Crit Care 2001 Dec;7(6):444-9
and resuscitative care of the head-injured patient.
MH, Heegaard W.
of Emergency Medicine, Hennepin County Medical
Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55421, USA.
The ultimate neurologic outcome following severe
head trauma depends on the extent of primary brain
insult sustained at the time of the trauma itself,
and the subsequent neurochemical and
neurophysiologic pathologic changes occurring as a
result of the injury. Although there are currently
no specific therapies that have proven to be
consistently effective in reversing the
devastating consequences of primary brain insult,
the reduction or prevention of secondary brain
insult is possible. The emergent resuscitation and
care of the severely head injured patient can
therefore impact the patient's final neurologic
outcome. As new data are accumulated, traditional
and new therapies for severe head injury have come
under scrutiny. While no absolute standards have
been advanced, guidelines have been established
that can help direct the acute stabilization of
severely head injured patients.