We considered it important that the controversy be resolved. Therefore, we initiated a prospective double-blind controlled clinical trial of the effectiveness of high-dose steroids in head-injured patients who were comatose on admission. This paper presents our findings.
The following of our co-workers also took part in this study: C. J. J. Avezaat, J. H. van den Berge, A. I. R. Maas, and T. Segeren. We thank Professor Staal and his colleagues, Department of Neurology, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, and Professor Minderhoud's co-workers from University Hospital, Groningen, who entrusted their patients to us. We are also grateful to the nursing staffs of our intensive care units. We thank Dr. P. J. H. Eggels from the Department of Pharmacy, Erasmus University, who prepared the vials of dexamethasone. Thanks are also due Mr. Graham Teasdale for criticism of the manuscript, to Mrs. B. S. Vollers-King for editorial help, and to Miss B. A. A. Koehorst who typed the manuscript.
Dexamethasone phosphate was kindly supplied by Merck, Sharp and Dohme, The Netherlands.