Traumatic brain injury: preferred methods and targets for resuscitation

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Purpose of reviewSevere traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the most common cause of death and disability in pediatric trauma. This review looks at the strategies to treat TBI in a temporal fashion. We examine the targets for resuscitation from field triage to definitive care in the pediatric ICU.Recent findingsGuidelines for the management of pediatric TBI exist. The themes of contemporary clinical research have been compliance with these guidelines and refinement of treatment recommendations developing a more sophisticated understanding of the pathophysiology of the injured brain. In the field, the aim has been to achieve routine compliance with the resuscitation goals. In the hospital, efforts have been directed at improving our ability to monitor the injured brain, developing techniques that limit brain swelling, and customizing brain perfusion.SummaryAs our understanding of pediatric TBI evolves, the ambition is that age-specific and perhaps individual brain injury strategies based upon feedback from continuous monitors will be defined. In addition, vogue methods such as hypothermia, hypertonic saline, and aggressive surgical decompression may prove to impact brain swelling and outcomes.

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