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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 276-279

Aetiological patterns and management outcome of paediatric head trauma: One-year prospective study

1 Neurosurgery Unit, Department of Surgery, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria
2 Department of Neurological Surgery, Institute of Neurological Sciences, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
J.K.C Emejulu
Neurosurgery Unit, Department of Surgery, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Anambra State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 20857784

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Background: Trauma is the most common cause of paediatric deaths. In 75% of paediatric trauma deaths, head injury is responsible, and most are from falls. Recent reports from Nigeria, however, appear to indicate a predominance of road traffic accidents, instead of falls. Objective: To evaluate the aetiology of paediatric head trauma, management protocols and outcome from our Centre, in order to acquire a baseline data base and recommend measures to reduce childhood trauma. Patients and Methods: A prospective study of all paediatric head trauma cases presenting to Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, for 12months from April 21, 2006 to April 20, 2007, was done and collated data subsequently analyzed. The paediatric age group was taken as =15years, and grading of head injury was with the Glasgow Coma Scale (3 15) and the modified scale for non-verbal children; while outcome was measured with the Glasgow Outcome Scale (1 5). Results: Out of 334 patients treated within the period of study, 210 were head trauma cases. Of these, 52 were paediatric head trauma, representing 24.8% of all head trauma cases; and 19.2% (10 of 52) of them were aged 0- 2years. About 62% (32 of 52) were males. Falls and RTA were each responsible in 25(48.1%) cases. Mild head injury occurred in 31(59.6%), and 49(94.2%) patients were evaluated by plain radiography. Treatment was conservative in 39(75%) cases; with satisfactory outcome in 36(69.2%), and a mortality rate of 15.4%. Conclusions: Road traffic injury, mostly from motorcycles, has become the major cause of morbidity and mortality amongst the paediatric age group, especially the male gender, and outcome from management is mostly satisfactory.

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