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ADVANCES IN HEAD INJURIES

BARNES WOODHALL, M.D.
JAMA. 1947;135(13):816-819. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02890130006004.
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No revolutionary advances were made during the recent war years in the diagnosis and treatment of acute head injuries. It is equally true, however, that neurosurgeons were alert to apply several striking discoveries in the broad field of science to the age-old problems of head injury. A more mature understanding of the pathology of head injury, refinements in operative technic and the addition of antibiotics have combined to make the clinical progress of an acute head injury a reasonablypredictable matter. Since neurosurgical experience during the war years has been largely confined to open or compound head injuries, this review will be restricted to that particular phase of traumatic neurosurgery.

Granted that the brain injury is not an irreversible one, the successful treatment of an open head injury is largely dependent on the application of two surgical tasks: (1) the technical reduction of an open or compound injury to a closed

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