Traumatic Injuries of the Central Nervous System

Blunt Head Injuries Missile Head Injuries Secondary Injuries

Clinical Presentation of Cerebral Injuries Spinal Cord Injuries Other Injuries

Head injuries are the major cause of death in young adults and account for one-third to one-half of traumatic deaths. An estimated 200 cases per 100,000 population occur annually, and the ratio of men to women is 2 : 1. About half of the survivors are left with variable degrees of neurologic disabilities. Often, no direct correlation can be made between the severity of a head injury and its outcome. An injury that appears mild or moderate may have a poor prognosis because of widespread damage to the axons that is only demonstrable histologically and because of complications from vascular or circulatory disorders and raised intracranial pressure (ICP). Genetic factors may also influence the outcome of a head injury.

Head injuries may be divided into primary and secondary. Primary injury relates directly to the trauma; secondary injury refers to the complications that may occur during the acute stage. Primary injuries are further divided into blunt, missile, and other.

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