Monitoring proves useful in work on new ways to treat head injuries
Physicians at an innovative intensive care unit for head-injured patients at the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia are seeking answers to some important questions about head trauma:
The four-bed special unit is a collaborative effort of neurosurgeons, anesthesiologists, and electrical engineers. It is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and is one of only a few such units in the country. Derek Bruce, MD, Thomas W. Langfitt, MD, and Harvey Shapiro, MD, are co-directors of the unit.Dr Bruce explained that the
Is unconsciousness due to a physical effect on nerve cells, or to brain swelling, or blood clots?
Should brain swellings be treated surgically?
Is the major portion of brain damage caused at the moment of impact, or later, due to the secondary effects of swelling or some other process?