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Infection Rates in a Traumatic Brain Injury Cohort Treated with Intravascular Cooling Catheters

Schleicher II, Donald Thomas (2008) Infection Rates in a Traumatic Brain Injury Cohort Treated with Intravascular Cooling Catheters. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Each year, in the United States, 235,000 individuals sustain a traumatic brain injury requiring hospitalization. Patient outcome from severe traumatic brain injury is improved with intensive care management of pathophysiological processes developing in the days following the injury. An important secondary complication of traumatic brain injury is fever, which is known to worsen neurologic outcome. Our institution has recently developed an approach to combat fever through the prophylactic use of intravascular cooling catheters, a treatment termed controlled normothermia. We have recently demonstrated that controlled normothermia reduces both core and brain temperature and can improve the intracranial milieu that may facilitate recovery. A major drawback to the systematic use of controlled normothermia is an increased risk of infection, or delayed diagnosis of infection by masking of fevers. In the current study, we evaluated whether "controlled normothermia", the prophylactic use of intravascular cooling catheters in severe traumatic brain injury, is associated with increased infection rates during the intensive care stay. Utilizing a matched cohort study and data from the Brain Trauma Research Center's database, a retrospective study was performed. The data was taken from the Brain Trauma Research Center's traumatic brain injury registry, and was matched on age, gender, and Glasgow Coma Score. After analysis, the results of the study indicated fewer infections in the controlled normothermia group; the rates of bloodstream infections were statistically lower in the controlled normothermia group. The current study demonstrates that prophylactic use of intravascular cooling catheters in severe traumatic brain injury is not associated with an increased risk of infection. The public health significance is that these results lend further support to the concept of controlled normothermia as a treatment for severe traumatic brain injury. Further study may prove that controlled normothermia is effective in improving neurologic outcomes from traumatic brain injury, which remain the leading cause of death under age 45 in the United States.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Schleicher II, Donald
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMertz, Kristenmertzk@edc.pitt.eduKJM40
Committee MemberOkonkwo, Davidokonkwodo@upmc.eduDOO5
Committee MemberBrooks, Mariambrooks@pitt.eduMBROOKS
Date: 26 June 2008
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 18 April 2008
Approval Date: 26 June 2008
Submission Date: 11 April 2008
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Catheters; Traumatic Brain Injury; Infection; Trauma
Other ID:, etd-04112008-105239
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:35
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2016 14:35


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