Long-term outcome of children with severe head trauma and prolonged coma

W. J. Mahoney, B. J. D'Souza, J. A. Haller, M. C. Rogers, M. H. Epstein, J. M. Freeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Forty-six children with significant head trauma who remained in coma more than 24 hours were the subjects of this long-term outcome study. Twelve (38%) died. The average length of coma in the 34 survivors was 15.5 days. Follow-up ranged from 9 months to 4 years (mean 21 months). Twenty-nine percent of the survivors were normal at follow-up. An additional 53% had mild cognitive or behavioral problems, but 61% of these had evidence of similar problems prior to the injury. Nine percent of survivors had motor residua but normal intellect. Nine percent had severe intellectual and motor problems. Children less than 2 years of age had a worse outcome. Despite severe injury and prolonged coma after head trauma, most children do well. Intensive medical and surgical care increases the rate of survival and does not result in a large number of severely disabled survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)756-762
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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