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Ali Farooqui, Bradley Hiser, Stephen L. Barnes and N. Scott Litofsky

Object

Patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) are at risk for development of thromboembolic disease. The use of chemoprophylaxis in this patient group has not fully been characterized. The authors hypothesize that early chemoprophylaxis in patients with TBI is safe and efficacious.

Methods

In May 2009, a protocol was instituted for patients with TBI where chemoprophylaxis for thromboembolic disease (either 30 mg of Lovenox twice daily or 5000 U of heparin 3 times a day) was initiated 24 hours after an intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) was demonstrated as stable on head CT image. Two cohorts were evaluated: Cohort A included patients from May 2008 through April 2009 who had no routine administration of chemoprophylaxis, and Cohort B included patients from May 2009 through May 2010 after the protocol was instituted. The groups were compared, with the major outcomes being deep venous thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism, and increase in size of ICH.

Results

Of the 312 patients with TBI who were seen during the study course, 236 patients met criteria for inclusion in the study: 107 patients in Cohort A and 129 patients in Cohort B. The DVT rate was 6 occurrences (5.61%) in Cohort A and 0 occurrences (0%) in Cohort B, which was a statistically significant difference (p = 0.0080). Pulmonary embolism was found in 4 patients (3.74%) in Cohort A and 1 patient (0.78%) in Cohort B, a difference that did not reach statistical significance (p = 0.18). Three instances (2.8%) in Cohort A and 1 instance (0.7%) in Cohort B of increased ICH occurred after starting anticoagulation for chemoprophylaxis; this was not statistically different (p = 0.33).

Conclusions

Use of chemoprophylaxis in TBI 24 hours after stable head CT is safe and decreases the rate of DVT formation.

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Linda Ewing-Cobbs, Mary R. Prasad, Larry Kramer, Charles S. Cox Jr., James Baumgartner, Stephen Fletcher, Donna Mendez, Marcia Barnes, Xiaoling Zhang and Paul Swank

Object

Although long-term neurological outcomes after traumatic brain injury (TBI) sustained early in life are generally unfavorable, the effect of TBI on the development of academic competencies is unknown. The present study characterizes intelligence quotient (IQ) and academic outcomes an average of 5.7 years after injury in children who sustained moderate to severe TBI prior to 6 years of age.

Methods

Twenty-three children who suffered inflicted or noninflicted TBI between the ages of 4 and 71 months were enrolled in a prospective, longitudinal cohort study. Their mean age at injury was 21 months; their mean age at assessment was 89 months. The authors used general linear modeling approaches to compare IQ and standardized academic achievement test scores from the TBI group and a community comparison group (21 children).

Children who sustained early TBI scored significantly lower than children in the comparison group on intelligence tests and in the reading, mathematical, and language domains of achievement tests. Forty-eight percent of the TBI group had IQs below the 10th percentile. During the approximately 5-year follow-up period, longitudinal IQ testing revealed continuing deficits and no recovery of function. Both IQ and academic achievement test scores were significantly related to the number of intracranial lesions and the lowest postresuscitation Glasgow Coma Scale score but not to age at the time of injury. Nearly 50 % of the TBI group failed a school grade and/or required placement in self-contained special education classrooms; the odds of unfavorable academic performance were 18 times higher for the TBI group than the comparison group.

Conclusions

Traumatic brain injury sustained early in life has significant and persistent consequences for the development of intellectual and academic functions and deleterious effects on academic performance.