Outcome of severe anoxic/ischemic brain injury in children

Pediatr Neurol. 1994 May;10(3):207-12. doi: 10.1016/0887-8994(94)90024-8.


The outcome of 25 children who had anoxic or ischemic brain injuries at 2 months to 14 years of age is reported. Follow-up was from 1 to 14 years after injury; causes were near-drowning, 11; suffocation, 7; cardiac arrest, 3; electrocution with cardiac arrest, 2; strangulation, 1; aborted sudden infant death syndrome, 1. All patients were unconscious for at least 24 hours. Of 11 remaining in vegetative states, 5 died. Seven children regained some language skills and are in special education or self-contained classrooms. Seven are profoundly impaired and show only a social smile. Cognitive and motor outcomes were correlated with the severity of injury as indicated by the duration of unconsciousness. All children who regained language skills or the ability to walk were unconscious less than 60 days. Dystonic rigidity was observed in all children who were nonambulatory. Outcome was also correlated with the cause of injury; mortality, cognitive outcome, feeding outcome, and duration of unconsciousness were all worse in children with near-drowning.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / diagnosis*
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / etiology
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / mortality
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Education, Special
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia, Brain / diagnosis*
  • Hypoxia, Brain / etiology
  • Hypoxia, Brain / mortality
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Neuromuscular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Neuromuscular Diseases / etiology
  • Neuromuscular Diseases / mortality
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Survival Analysis
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome