Important Questions Provided by The American Association of Neurological Surgeons
Below are four questions you should ask if someone you know suffers a severe
Is the medical facility a designated trauma center?
If the patient is comatose, is the neurosurgeon monitoring intracranial
pressure? If not, why?
If the patient lost consciousness at any time, was a CT scan performed?
If the CT scan was abnormal, was a neurosurgeon called for a consultation?
The Brain Injury Association's toll-free help support line is 1-800-444-6443
(staffed 9 to 5 EST Monday through Friday, answering machine 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
The Guidelines for the Management of Severe Head Injury were developed in 1995
as a joint initiative between the American Association of Neurological Surgeons
(AANS), The Brain Trauma Foundation and The AANS/Congress of Neurological
Surgeons Joint Section on Neurotrauma and Critical Care. These guidelines serve
as a parameter for the treatment of severe head injury patients around the
world. One of the central concepts that emerged from the clinical research that
went into developing the guidelines is that neurological damage does not only
occur at the moment of impact, but also evolves over the ensuing hours or days.
This has led to the development of better monitoring and treatment methods
aimed at preventing this secondary injury and improving the outcome for
patients who have suffered a head injury.
Head Injury Fact Sheet Provided by The American Association of Neurological Surgeons
Every 15 seconds someone in the U.S. receives a head injury. Every five minutes
one of these individuals will die or become permanently disabled from this
Head Injury is the leading cause of death among children and young adults in
Each year 373,000 Americans are hospitalized for severe head injuries. Of
these, 99,000 individuals sustain moderate to severe brain injuries resulting
in lifelong disabling conditions.
More than 30,000 children sustain permanent disabilities each year as a result
of brain injuries.
Motor vehicle accidents are the cause of 50 to 60 percent of all severe head
injuries. Fewer than 14 percent of those receiving a severe head injury in a
motor vehicle accident were wearing seat belts.
The average hospital stay for a patient with severe head injury is 45 to 60
The patient's Glasgow Coma Scale score at time of admission is the single best
factor to determine patient outcome.
According to several Phase III Clinical Trials, the mortality rate of severe
head injury patients has decreased 10 to 15 percent since 1984.