St. Louis Hospital Shows A Better Way Of Treating Traumatic Brain Injuries

On behalf of Brown & Crouppen, P.C. posted in Medical Malpractice on Friday, March 1, 2013

This is a story that makes one wonder why it took them so long, as report from a St. Louis hospital explains how a hospital has “produced markedly better outcomes” for children who have suffered a severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI). The study by Washington University School of Medicine, found that a detailed, step-by-step process on how to deal with specific problems associated with TBI allowed quicker and more aggressive treatment that produced better results.

With TBI, time is critical. The injury, which often occurs from car accidents and accidents involving contact sports, is typically the result of a violent shaking of the skull. The brain strikes the skull and the damage causes swelling and fluid buildup. Because there is very little space between the brain and the skull, this pressure can quickly cause devastating, long-term brain damage.

As one doctor notes, the brain is not forgiving to delays in treatment. Because TBI cases are so complex, there is often a large team of specialists working for the patient. While these cases need a large team, managing treatment from multiple specialties further adds to the complexity of the case and can make it difficult to quickly decide on and implement the treatments the patient needs.

Traumatic brain injuries happen with surprisingly frequency, and are a significant cause of permanent disabilities and death for children. The Post-Dispatch article reports that 2,700 children age 14 and younger die every year from TBIs, and 37,000 are hospitalized.

The treatment program enabled children to have meaningful improvement after the TBI, because as a researcher noted, “have long lives ahead,” and if treatment is ineffective, medical costs for a lifetime of enhanced care are considerable

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “St. Louis hospital uses step-by-step approach to triumph over brain injuries,” Michele Munz, February 20, 2013

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