Intensive care treatment of patients with severe brain trauma is focused on reducing further brain damage that results from complications of the initial injury.
After severe brain trauma, the brain can swell. Because the brain is inside the skull and does not have much space to swell, brain swelling can cause the pressure in the brain to rise. Increased pressure in the brain is thought to contribute to further brain damage.
Standard intensive care treatment aims to prevent the pressure in the brain from getting too high. Another potential cause of brain damage is low oxygen levels in the brain tissue. Monitoring brain oxygen levels is not part of standard intensive care treatment in Australia and New Zealand but it is performed in some other countries. It is possible that monitoring brain oxygen levels and treating low brain oxygen levels when they occur may reduce brain damage but this is unclear.
This study will compare monitoring and treatment of high-pressure levels in the brain with monitoring and treatment of both high-pressure levels in the brain and low oxygen levels in the brain. The purpose of this study is to find out whether there are additional benefits when monitoring and treating low oxygen levels in the brain.
Recovery will be measured at 6 months after injury using a standard questionnaire that was developed for survivors of brain injury. Approximately 16 hospitals in Australia and New Zealand will participate in this research.
To read more about this trial and eligibility criteria please click here.