Children with TBIs Experience Increased Sleepiness

A recent article on Medpage Today is discussing the prevalence of sleep problems among children with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). According to the study, these youth experience higher rates of disturbed sleep patterns during the night, with increased sleepiness during the daytime hours.

The Study Details

The research study was conducted on a relatively small scale, with a total of 30 participants – 15 with TBIs and 15 with no brain related injuries. The ages of the children ranged from 3-years-old to 16-years-old and each required hospitalization for at least 7 days, followed by rehabilitation and ongoing support with school. Each injury occurred at least one month prior to the study, but the average time from the date of injury was approximately 18 months. The parents were asked to report information about their child’s sleep patterns and habits.

As explained in the article, the results were as follows:

The children with TBIs scored an average of 8.1 on the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, while the healthy control group scored an average of 4.9. This shows a substantial increase in sleepiness among the children with brain injuries.

The children with TBIs scored an average of 3.58, compared with a score of 4.61 for the healthy control group on the Child Sleep Wake Scale. This assessment measures the quality of sleep by reviewing the ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Study results showed that the healthy control group experienced better sleep quality.

The children with TBIs score an average of 62.12 on the PedsQL Generic Core Scale, while the healthy control group scored an average of 87.75. This is a questionnaire that measures emotional functioning, school functioning, social functioning, and physical functioning. The higher scores among healthy children indicate that they are experiencing a higher quality of life.

Kimberly Allen, RN, PHD, is an assistant professor of nursing at the Center for Narcolepsy, Sleep and Health Research at the University of Illinois-Chicago. She helped administer the study and she is quoted in the article as stating, “As hypothesized, children with traumatic brain injury had increased daytime sleepiness, poorer sleep quality, and poorer functional status compared to healthy, typically developing matched controls based on parent report surveys…Clinicians treating children with traumatic brain injury may need to ask children or their parents about sleep quality and daytime sleepiness as these data suggest it is problematic for this sample.”

The results of this study only expand the list of complications that can accompany a brain injury. When a child suffers from a TBI at the hands of another, the effects can prove devastating for the child, parents and entire family. Additionally, the ability of the child to lead a healthy and productive life in the long term may be severely impacted. It is important for parents to pursue the financial compensation their child deserves when these incidents occur.

If your child is suffering with a traumatic brain injury due to the actions of another, contact the experienced brain injury attorneys of Levin & Perconti today at (877) 374-1417 for a free consultation.

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