The management of TBI remains an important and frustrating component of the practice of anesthesiology and critical care medicine. The difficulties in management of TBI as well as the poor response rates to medical therapy after TBI are not new. The following passage appeared in the introductory chapter of a text on TBI from 1897: "The manner of treatment is of importance in only a minority of cases, since many subjects of intracranial injury are fated to die whatever measures may be adopted for their relief, and a still greater number are destined to recover though left entirely to the resources of nature. It is probable that in by far the larger proportion of cases in which the issue is determined by treatment it is met in the initial stage, and by insuring restoration from primary shock" . Although secondary insults from factors such as hypotension, hypoxemia, and hyperventilation increase morbidity and mortality, data are not yet available to indicate whether scrupulous prevention and prompt treatment of secondary injuries will reduce morbidity and mortality. In addition, no specific intervention to date has improved overall long-term outcome. With ongoing research, perhaps active interventions will become available. Until that time, thoughtful and careful attention to physiologic management provides the greatest opportunity for a good outcome.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine