The injuries sustained by 969 drivers and front-seat passengers in road-traffic accidents were studied. Altogether 196 (20-2%) of the drivers and passengers were wearing seat belts and 773 (79-8%) were not. The injuries among the two groups differed greatly in both severity and distribution. A total of 54 (27-6%) of the seatbelt wearers sustained one or more fractures compared with 300 (38-8%) of the non-wearers, and 18 (9-2%) of the seatbelt wearers were severely injured compared with 300 (38-8%) of the non-wearers. Soft-tissue injuries to the face were sustained by only 29 (14-8%) of the seatbelt wearers compared with 425 (55%) of the non-wearers. Since wearing seatbelts may become compulsory, the type and pattern of injuries to be expected in wearers should be appreciated. (+info)
(2/1137) Evaluating cost-effectiveness of diagnostic equipment: the brain scanner case.
An approach to evaluating the cost-effectiveness of high-technology diagnostic equipment has been devised, using the introduction of computerised axial tomography (CAT) as a model. With the advent of CAT scanning, angiography and air encephalography have a reduced, though important, role in investigating intracranial disease, and the efficient use of conventional equipment requires the centralisation of neuroradiological services, which would result in major cash savings. In contrast, the pattern of demand for CAT scanning, in addition to the acknowledged clinical efficiency of the scanner and its unique role in the head-injured patient, ephasies the need for improved access to scanners. In the interest of the patients the pattern of service must change. (+info)
(3/1137) Post-traumatic epilepsy: its complications and impact on occupational rehabilitation--an epidemiological study from India.
The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of seizure disorder, neuropsychiatric disorders and reproductive outcome of employees with post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE) and their effect on occupational rehabilitation. A case-comparison group study design was used to compare 30 subjects with PTE with (1) 129 non-PTE and (2) 55 non-PTE matched control employees. The 55 non-PTE matched controls were selected from the 129 non-PTE employees on the basis of age, age at onset of seizure, age at marriage and length of employment. The PTE group had a lower fertility rate than the controls and more neuropsychiatric disorders and seizure disability. PTE employees were more occupationally rehabilitated than non-PTE employees (p = 0.033). Of the 30 PTE subjects, thirteen who were rehabilitated by placement had more seizure disability (p = 0.007) and a higher fertility rate (p = 0.018). High prevalence of seizure disability and increased fertility rate among the placed PTE employees suggested that there might be some association between severity of seizures and increased production of live offspring and work placement. Work suitability or placement should not be judged on clinical assessment only but psychosocial seizure assessment, disability evaluation and other psychometric tests which are of equal importance. (+info)
(4/1137) Cognitive recovery after severe head injury. 3. WAIS verbal and performance IQs as a function of post-traumatic amnesia duration and time from injury.
Two studies are reported are reported in which severely head-injured patients were followed up and Verbal (VIQ) and Performance (PIQ) IQs obtained on the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale at four intervals after injury. In the first study 51 patients were systematically followed, and results were based upon serial testing. In the second study results were based on the earliest data available from an additional 98 patients who had not been followed so systematically, in order to introduce a control for the effects of practice. Patients in both studies were categorised into four groups of the severity of head injury based upon duration of post-traumatic amnesia (PTA). In both studies, VIQ level was found to be related to PTA duration at three months after injury, while PIQ was related to PTA duration at both three and six months. No such relationships were found at 12 and 30 months after injury. Results are discussed in the context of previous studies relating the outcome of head injury to the duration of PTA. (+info)
(5/1137) Post-traumatic pituitary apoplexy--two case reports.
A 60-year-old female and a 66-year-old male presented with post-traumatic pituitary apoplexy associated with clinically asymptomatic pituitary macroadenoma manifesting as severe visual disturbance that had not developed immediately after the head injury. Skull radiography showed a unilateral linear occipital fracture. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed pituitary tumor with dumbbell-shaped suprasellar extension and fresh intratumoral hemorrhage. Transsphenoidal surgery was performed in the first patient, and the visual disturbance subsided. Decompressive craniectomy was performed in the second patient to treat brain contusion and part of the tumor was removed to decompress the optic nerves. The mechanism of post-traumatic pituitary apoplexy may occur as follows. The intrasellar part of the tumor is fixed by the bony structure forming the sella, and the suprasellar part is free to move, so a rotational force acting on the occipital region on one side will create a shearing strain between the intra- and suprasellar part of the tumor, resulting in pituitary apoplexy. Recovery of visual function, no matter how severely impaired, can be expected if an emergency operation is performed to decompress the optic nerves. Transsphenoidal surgery is the most advantageous procedure, as even partial removal of the tumor may be adequate to decompress the optic nerves in the acute stage. Staged transsphenoidal surgery is indicated to achieve total removal later. (+info)
(6/1137) Aphasic disorder in patients with closed head injury.
Quantitative assessment of 50 patients with closed head injury disclosed that anomic errors and word finding difficulty were prominent sequelae as nearly half of the series had defective scores on tests of naming and/or word association. Aphasic disturbance was associated with severity of brain injury as reflected by prolonged coma and injury of the brain stem. (+info)
(7/1137) An audit of distribution and use of guidelines for management of head injury.
Ensuring effective distribution of guidelines is an important step towards their implementation. To examine the effectiveness of dissemination of a guidelines card on management of head injury and determine its usefulness to senior house officers (SHOs), a questionnaire survey was performed in May 1990, after distribution of the cards in induction packs for new doctors and at postgraduate lectures and displaying the guidelines in accident and emergency departments and wards. A further survey, in March 1992, assessed the impact of modifying the distribution. All (175) SHOs working in general surgery, accident and emergency medicine, orthopaedics, and neurosciences on 1 February 1990 in 19 hospitals including two neurosurgical units in Northern region were sent self completion questionnaires about awareness, receipt, use, and perceived usefulness of the guidelines. 131 of 163(80%) SHOs in post responded (median response from hospitals 83% (range 50%-100%)). Over three quarters (103, 79%) of SHOs were aware of the guidelines and 82(63%) had ever possessed a guidelines card. Only 36(44%) acquired the card in the induction pack. 92%(98/107) found them useful and 81% (89/110) referred to them to some extent. Owning and carrying the card and referring to guidelines were associated with departmental encouragement to use the guidelines. Increasing the displays of guidelines in wards and departments and the supply of cards to consultants in accident and emergency medicine as a result of this survey did not increase the number of SHOs who received cards (52/83, 63%), but more (71/83, 86%) were aware of the guidelines. The guidelines were welcomed by SHOs and used in treating patients with head injury, but their distribution requires improvement. Increased use of the guidelines may be achieved by introducing other distribution methods and as a result of encouragement by senior staff. (+info)
(8/1137) Effect of guidelines on management of head injury on record keeping and decision making in accident and emergency departments.
OBJECTIVE: To compare record keeping and decision making in accident and emergency departments before and after distribution of guidelines on head injury management as indices of implementation. DESIGN: Before (1987) and after (1990) study of accident and emergency medical records. SETTING: Two accident and emergency departments in England. PATIENTS: 1144 adult patients with head injury in department 1 (533 in 1987, 613 in 1990) and 734 in department 2 (370, 364 respectively). MAIN MEASURES: Recording of relevant symptoms and signs as determined in the guidelines; presence of, indications for, and rates and appropriateness of skull x ray examination and admission. RESULTS: The median number of guidelines variables recorded for all study periods ranged from 7 to 9 out of a possible maximum of 27. For key decision making variables the presence or absence of penetrating injury was least likely to be recorded (< or = 1%) and that of loss of consciousness most likely (> or = 75%). Altogether, the proportion of patients receiving skull x ray examination or admitted varied from 25%-60% and 7%-23% respectively; overall, 69% (1280/1856) and 64% (1177/1851) of patients were managed appropriately. However, no consistent change occurred in the departments between the study periods. For instance, in department 1 the proportion of appropriate x ray examinations rose significantly after distribution of the guidelines (from 61% (202/330) to 73% (305/417)) and appropriate decisions on whether to x ray or not also rose (from 65% (340/522) to 72% (435/608)). There was no significant change in department 2, although the proportion of appropriate admissions fell (from 33% (55/166) to 15% (19/130)). CONCLUSIONS: Recording practice and decision making were variable and had not consistently improved after dissemination of the guidelines. Strategies are required to ensure effective implementation of guidelines. (+info)