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Head trauma in children, part 3: clinical and psychosocial outcome after head trauma in children.

With the aim of determining long-term outcome, the authors approached 38 families (average 2.1 years after trauma) with a questionnaire, following the acute-clinical treatment of head trauma of their children. Long-term damage was restricted almost exclusively to patients presenting with a Glasgow Coma Score < or =8. Paresis (16%), cranial nerve damage (13%), incontinence (5%), or coordinative disturbances (18%) continued. The older children stated that they influenced their life to a great extent (11%). Furthermore, many had mental and cognitive problems that occur quite frequently even in children with light head trauma and often only manifest after release from hospital. This causes problems and results in inferior performance (26%), especially at school, which is further complicated through lengthy periods of absence. The parents, especially, mentioned behavioral problems such as social withdrawal or aggressive demeanor, which led to tension also inside the family. A persistent vegetative state is rare after head trauma in children.

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