Study Examines TBI Complications in Children

A recent study published in “Critical Care Medicine” investigates a disturbing side effect among children with moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). The research focuses on a condition called vasospasm, which is the narrowing of blood vessels within the body. The constrictions happen quickly, like a muscle spasm.

As reported by News Medical, researchers set out to better determine the prevalence of the condition. The resulting information found that vasospasm was present in 3% to 8.5% of children with moderate TBI and 21% to 33.5% of children with severe brain injury. Additionally, the condition was found to appear within four to five days after the causing injury occurred.

The Study Details

Researchers monitored 69 children, whose ages ranged from 1 day old to 17 years old. They used brain injury scores to determine whether each child suffered from a moderate or severe brain injury. Through the use of a Doppler ultrasound, the researchers were able to locate and monitor vasospasms that occurred within the brain. Their findings led them to suggest that physicians screen for this condition soon after the diagnosis of a TBI and begin treatment immediately.

Dr. Nicole O’Brien was the lead author of the study. She is quoted in the article as stating, “Unfortunately, vasospasm has been an under-recognized complication in pediatric head trauma patients patients and there are no current guidelines for the screening or management of vasospasm in these children. Information gained from this study can serve as an important foundation for the development of practice guidelines to produce better outcomes for children affected by traumatic brain injury.”

Symptoms of Vasospasms

Headaches that are sudden and severe. These are significantly different from dull, long lasting headache pains.
Elevated body temperature with a fever
Neck stiffness
Confusion for an extended period of time
Loss of language comprehension
Loss of ability to communicate verbally
Severe muscle weakness on one side of the face, similar to what occurs during incidents of stroke
These signs generally appear between three days of the injury and they may continue for about three weeks. Additionally, the symptoms often come and go at varying levels of severity.

Doctors can utilize several tools to diagnose vasospasms in children with TBIs. They may observe signs during a physical examination or use instruments like a cerebral angiography or ultrasound. Failure of a physician to diagnose and treat this condition in a timely manner can lead to increased difficulties and levels of pain for the child. With the assistance of an experienced attorney, a court of law may find the physician liable for the medical negligence.

Additionally, researchers found that vasospasms occur most often in children whose TBIs resulted from an automobile accident. The information is important if the injured party is seeking compensation from the party responsible for the accident.

If your child has a TBI and suffered from vasospasms, contact the experienced attorneys of Levin & Perconti at (312) 332-2872 for a free consultation. These knowledgeable attorneys will aggressively work to secure the compensation to which you are entitled.

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