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Keywords:

  • neurosurgery;
  • trauma;
  • audit;
  • general anesthesia;
  • traumatic brain injury;
  • adolescent;
  • neuroanesthesia;
  • child;
  • age

Summary

TBI and its sequelae remain a major healthcare issue throughout the world. With an improved understanding of the pathophysiology of TBI, refinements of monitoring technology, and ongoing research to determine optimal care, the prognosis of TBI continues to improve. In 2003, the Society of Critical Care Medicine published guidelines for the acute management of severe TBI in infants, children, and adolescents. As pediatric anesthesiologists are frequently involved in the perioperative management of such patients including their stabilization in the emergency department, familiarity with these guidelines is necessary to limit preventable secondary damage related to physiologic disturbances. This manuscript reviews the current evidence-based medicine regarding the care of pediatric patients with TBI as it relates to the perioperative care of such patients. The issues reviewed include those related to initial stabilization, airway management, intra-operative mechanical ventilation, hemodynamic support, administration of blood and blood products, positioning, and choice of anesthetic technique. The literature is reviewed regarding fluid management, glucose control, hyperosmolar therapy, therapeutic hypothermia, and corticosteroids. Whenever possible, management recommendations are provided.