Pediatric Brain Injury and Severe Blood Vessel Narrowing
Severe cerebral vasospasm, or severe narrowing of blood vessels, is a very dangerous complication observed in children with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) which tends to go undetected and untreated. That is because it generally begins 4-5 days post brain injury, and because many physicians who care for brain injured children are not aware of this condition. The great importance of monitoring for vasospasm in children with moderate to severe TBI was highlighted in a paper just published in Critical Care Medicine by Nicole O’Brien and co-investigators at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Dr. O’Brien says the presence of certain factors increase the odds that a child with TBI will experience vasospasm: being in a motor vehicle accident; higher severity of injury score; lower Glasgow Coma Scale score; and fever at time of hospital admission. Vasospasm is more prevalent in and has a worse outcome in children with severe TBI as opposed to those with moderate TBI. To prevent the worst consequences of vasospasm it is crucial to diagnosis and treat it immediately.