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Early management of isolated severe traumatic brain injury patients in a hospital without neurosurgical capabilities: a consensus and clinical recommendations of the World Society of Emergency Surgery (WSES).

BACKGROUND: Severe traumatic brain-injured (TBI) patients should be primarily admitted to a hub trauma center (hospital with neurosurgical capabilities) to allow immediate delivery of appropriate care in a specialized environment. Sometimes, severe TBI patients are admitted to a spoke hospital (hospital without neurosurgical capabilities), and scarce data are available regarding the optimal management of severe isolated TBI patients who do not have immediate access to neurosurgical care.

METHODS: A multidisciplinary consensus panel composed of 41 physicians selected for their established clinical and scientific expertise in the acute management of TBI patients with different specializations (anesthesia/intensive care, neurocritical care, acute care surgery, neurosurgery and neuroradiology) was established. The consensus was endorsed by the World Society of Emergency Surgery, and a modified Delphi approach was adopted.

RESULTS: A total of 28 statements were proposed and discussed. Consensus was reached on 22 strong recommendations and 3 weak recommendations. In three cases, where consensus was not reached, no recommendation was provided.

CONCLUSIONS: This consensus provides practical recommendations to support clinician's decision making in the management of isolated severe TBI patients in centers without neurosurgical capabilities and during transfer to a hub center.

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