Guidelines for the management of head injuries in remote and rural Alaska

Frank Sacco, Ken Zafren, Ken Brown, Tim Cohen, B J Coopes, John Godersky, Don Hudson, Steve Hyams, David Ingraham, Mike Levy, William Ma, Patricia Martinez, William Montano, John Mithun, James O'Malley, Karen O'Neill, David Powers, Linda Smith
Alaska Medicine 2004, 46 (3): 58-62
Numerous recommendations on the initial evaluation and treatment of the head injured patient have been proposed over the last several years. Most assume there is readily available access to computed tomography and neurosurgical specialists. Many clinicians in Alaska must evaluate and begin treatment of head injured patients in circumstances quite different from this. Vast distances, severe weather and limited medical evacuation capability are factors that come into play while caring for these patients. The current medicolegal climate also contributes to clinician anxiety over missing rare but potentially serious injuries. These guidelines developed by Alaska clinicians from multiple specialties are meant to assist clinicians dealing with this very common problem and represent a reasonable approach to these patients in remote and rural Alaska.


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