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Did Your Newborn Suffer Cerebral
Palsy or Another Brain Injury Before
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Our Birth Brain Injury Resource Guide

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Get a FREE guide of resources available throughout Ohio to children and families of children who were born with brain injuries.

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now and in the future.

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Brain Injury News and Research - Coma

A coma could be caused by severe brain injury sustained at birth. Whether the infant is going to recover will depend on the severity of the trauma and the damage that it has caused to the brain.

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Obviously, the most important question focuses on the prognosis for patients who have sustained severe brain trauma that has caused coma. The Glasgow Coma Scale is used for this purpose.

The Coma Scale was described for the first time in 1974. Under this methodology, three aspects of the patient’s behavior are assessed. The areas of assessment include the stimulus required to induce eye opening, the best verbal and the best motor response. The result will be heavily determining the expected outcome and the eventual recovery of the patient.

Thus, researchers from the Netherlands have found it possible to predict outcome fairly accurately on the basis of the observation that occurs in the first hours after the head injury and the coma occurrence. Brain stem function and the age of the patient have also been used to predict the outcome.

Elk & Elk

Using this special Scale and additional observations in the first 24 hours, medics have been capable of reliably predicting the outcome in the vast majority of coma cases stemming from the head injury. The only exception was patients who had the potential to recover initially but who regressed later on because of unforeseeable complications.

Another very prominent piece of research on the topic comes from BMJ. The analysis was performed by London School of Hygiene and Topical Medicine researchers. They went through the cases of 10,008 patients who suffered from traumatic brain injury. The aim of the researchers was to predict the outcome accurately after traumatic injury and coma.

Through the development of a thorough methodology, researchers concluded that a low coma score, older age, the presence of major extracranial injury and absent pupil reactivity could be used to predict a negative outcome fairly accurately. In fact, the Coma Scale assessment had a clear linear relationship with mortality.

MRI Scans for Patients with Brain Injury or Coma

The Glasgow Coma Scale isn’t the only option for medical professionals who face the challenging task of giving a prognosis in the case of severe brain trauma and coma in infants as well as adults.

A clinical review on the topic was published in Critical Care journal in 2007. It examined the use of imaging technology, particularly MRI to assess the outcome for patients who have gone into a coma following a severe brain trauma.

MRI was used for the very first time in the assessment of brain injuries and comas in 1986. Then, a study involving 50 patients was conducted. MRI was highly effective for the identification of lesions. In fact, lesions were identified much more frequently than in the case of using computed tomography.

This is just one of numerous clinical trials that identify the usefulness of MRI scans.

Thus, researchers concluded that MRI increases the accuracy of neurological diagnosis and it also has a rather high potential regarding predicting outcomes as far as comatose patients are involved.