Pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major public health concern and challenge to critical care practitioners. The prevention of secondary injury is key to improving morbidity and mortality outcomes. Interventions are targeted at maintaining adequate cerebral blood flow and minimizing oxygen consumption by the brain. The anticipation and prevention of systemic complications are also of vital importance.
A new book focuses on evaluating what is currently known about childhood TBI and the challenges faced by researchers and clinicians in this arena. The book is entitled "Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury: New Frontiers in Clinical and Translational Research," edited by Vicki Anderson and Keith Owen Yeates and published by Cambridge University Press.
The following is an Introduction I ran across:
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major public health problem among children and
adolescents. Surveillance data reveal that 1 in every 20 emergency department presentations at pediatric hospitals is for a TBI, making TBI more common than burns or
poisonings. For children, such injuries represent a common interruption to normal
development, with population estimates ranging from 200 to over 500 per 100 000 a year,
and with well-established variations across age and gender (Crowe et al., in press; Langlois et al., 2006).
The majority of TBI in children and adolescents are mild, typically with few
long-term consequences; however, a significant proportion of children will suffer more
serious injuries and will experience a range of residual physical, cognitive, educational,
functional, and social and emotional consequences, requiring the lifelong involvement of
health professionals across a range of disciplines and leading to a significant social
and economic burden for the children’s families and for the community more broadly
(Cassidy et al., 2004).
This book, New Frontiers in Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury, aims to evaluate what we
have learned about TBI in childhood to date and, perhaps more importantly, to articulate
the challenges we face and how we should go forward in the future. Over the past two or
three decades, researchers and clinicians working with children with TBI have become
aware that injuries to the developing brain cannot be understood or treated in exactly the
same manner as those occurring in adulthood. Although we may be guided by science and
practice in adult TBI, unique developmental and contextual issues need to be taken into
account at all stages of recovery and treatment in children. Thus, a separate knowledge base is needed for pediatric TBI. As a consequence, until recently our understanding of recovery and outcomes in pediatric TBI has lagged behind that for adults. This is changing. Research in pediatric TBI now has more solid foundations. A number of principles have been established, some consistent with the adult literature, such as the predictive value of injury severity (Anderson et al., 2004; Taylor et al., 2008).
Others are specific to early brain injury, such as the unique mechanics and characteristic pathology of inflicted injury in children (Coats & Margulies, 2006; Prange & Margulies, 2002), or reflect the importance of developmental and contextual factors, such as the age at injury, developmental stage of brain development, and functional maturation (Anderson et al., 2005; Taylor & Alden, 1997), the key role of the family, and implications of life tasks specific to children (Yeates et al., 1997).