Caring for Kids: Treating Head Injuries

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This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about keeping kids safe and healthy. When a child has even a mild head injury, there can be long-term consequences. Now doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center are studying a way of treating children to prevent future problems.

The doctors are using hypothermia — keeping the patient cold — to treat children with blunt-force head injuries. Dr. Pam Okada, a UT Southwestern pediatric emergency medicine expert, says with a head injury, the brain swells, but the skull doesn’t allow room for this swelling, which can lead to damage. Keeping the child’s body cold could reduce swelling and possibly reduce damage. Doctors already know the treatment is safe, but if it proves effective in clinical trials, it could be a breakthrough in treading head injuries in children.

Visit UTSW Medicine to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in pediatrics.


January 2008

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