pittsburgh area researchers tapped to lead 165m tbi study

In the unfortunate event that your child suffers a traumatic head injury while engaged in a favorite pastime or is in some sort of accident, you will undoubtedly be headed to the nearest hospital as quickly as possible. Upon your arrival, your child will immediately be taken care of by a team of physicians and nurses whose specialized training gives you some semblance of comfort.

What it may interest you to learn, however, is that the TBI treatment your child receives at that particular hospital may differ considerably from a hospital across the nation, across the state or even across town. That’s because there is currently no uniform method of treating TBIs in pediatric patients here in the U.S. despite the fact that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranks it as the leading cause of death among children.

Interestingly, the National Institutes of Health has selected two medical facilities right here in the Steel City — Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health — to head a five-year, $16.5 million international study designed to both evaluate and possibly identify the best treatments for pediatric TBIs.

The researchers will compare and contrast the efficacy of TBI treatments used in the care of approximately 1,000 children in medical facilities in the U.S. and across the globe, gathering data over the week after their TBIs, and at both the six-month and one-year marks. The goal is to gather enough data to support changes in current clinical practices and to help guide future research models.

“We’re going to the best places, see what they do and learn which therapies are associated with the best outcomes,” said of one the research leaders.

While this research is certainly encouraging, we can only hope that it devotes some time and energy into determining how pediatric TBIs caused by medical malpractice — anesthesia errors, misdiagnosis, etc. — can be reduced or eliminated altogether. Far too many lives have been left devastated by this medical negligence.

Source: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Pitt, UPMC to lead study of severe brain injuries in youth,” Michael Fuoco, July 26, 2013 

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