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Therapeutic hypothermia for paediatric traumatic brain injury

Report by: Gabriel Cade, Emergency Medicine Physician

Search checked by: Venkatesh Gattu, Specialty Emergency Medicine Trainee

Institution: Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, Massachusetts, USA and Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester, UK

Three-part question

In [paediatric patients presenting within 8 h of traumatic brain injury (TBI)] are [therapeutic hypothermia regimens better than normothermic care] in [improving patient survival]?

Clinical scenario

An 8-year-old child presents to the Emergency Department within 6 h of an unclear incident at home that left non-specific bruising and acute change in mental status. Fundoscopic exam reveals retinal haemorrhages, and a CT scan done later in the investigation demonstrates a small subdural haematoma. While you consult an ophthalmologist to verify your findings and concentrate on maintaining supportive care, you remember that brain injuries in adults, both hypoxic and traumatic, …

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