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Survey of severe head injury treatment in Brazil


Head injury has been one of the most important public health problems, with high morbidity and mortality rates. In Brazil, the DATASUS (official government databank) reported 63,919 deaths caused by head injury during the year 2001. Increasing knowledge on traumatic brain injury physiopathology made possible the establishment of better guidelines for its treatment. However, there are no consistent data regarding the implementation of these guidelines in the management of head injury in Brazil.


To evaluate the treatment protocols of severe head injury in Brazilian intensive care units (ICUs).


Between August 2002 and January 2003 a questionnaire was sent to 628 ICUs in Brazil. The data obtained were tabulated as categorical variables.


A total of 107 ICUs (17.3%) answered the questionnaire. From that total, 14 ICUs were excluded because they do not treat head injury patients on a regular basis. The results are presented in Tables 1,2,3,4, as the number and percentage of ICUs.

Table 1
Table 2
Table 3
Table 4


A considerable number of Brazilian ICUs are still using treatment strategies that are no longer recommended by the actual medical literature (corticosteroids, routine hyperventilation, etc.). This fact claims for new campaigns and continued education for dissemination and implementation of the current guidelines on severe head injury management.

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Germano, A., Machado, F., Souza, M. et al. Survey of severe head injury treatment in Brazil. Crit Care 7, P80 (2003).

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  • Intensive Care Unit
  • Corticosteroid
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Brain Injury
  • Head Injury