• Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injuries: Challenges in Providing Effective Patient Care and Importance of Proper Family Support

      Ebersole, Nancy; Conners, Kaitlyn (2021-05-01)
      The human brain is one of the most important, yet least understood, organs in the human body. This functional unit innervates every aspect of human life and is ever changing from conception until full maturity around age 25. Considering this, it makes sense that pediatric traumatic brain injuries are so misunderstood. Attempting to diagnose and monitor a traumatic injury to a complex organ that is still growing and developing is challenging for clinicians. Proper interaction with these children and their families is vital to physical health and psychosocial development. Identifying current knowledge and disseminating it is crucial for planning interventions and promoting healthy outcomes. A review of the literature was done using the CINAHL database, and articles collected identify themes that are important and unique to caring for these patients. The themes are (a) impact of age at time of injury on post injury behavior; (b) importance of proper identification of TBI related behaviors and appropriate interventions; (c) relationship between severity of injury and post injury behaviors; (d) patient challenges with internalizing and externalizing problems; and (e) role of home environment on post injury behaviors and recovery process. When caring for this patient population, it is important for health care providers to not use a "one size fits all" approach, as each patient will have a different presentation and different needs based on the factors listed above. The themes identified here provide a point of reference for clinicians when planning care for children who have experienced a traumatic brain injury.