Research Reports - Incidence of severe dysphagia after brain surgery in pediatric traumatic brain injury

J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2014 Feb 28

Huang CT(1), Lin WC, Ho CH, Tung LC, Chu CC, Chou W, Wang CH

OBJECTIVES:: To investigate the incidence of dysphagia and medical resource
utilization in a nationwide population of pediatric patients with traumatic brain
injury (TBI).
SETTING:: Subjects' data were obtained from the Taiwan National Health Insurance
Research Database.
PARTICIPANTS:: Between 2000 and 2008, 6290 children less than 18 years old who
had received surgery post-TBI were included in the study.
DESIGN:: Retrospective study.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:: Biographic data and medical utilization results.
RESULTS:: Of all the children postsurgery after TBI, 12.3% were categorized as
having severe dysphagia. The occurrence of severe dysphagia was not related to
sex but was statistically and significantly related to a younger mean age. The
relationship between age and dysphagia also showed an interestingly biphasic
distribution, mostly in the subgroups of 1 to 3 and 16 to 18 years of age. The
medical resource utilization was higher in severely dysphagia patients, but only
8.4% received intervention by a speech language pathologist.
CONCLUSIONS:: Severe dysphagia among postsurgical pediatric patients after TBI is
relatively common, and those with severe dysphagia have a greater need for
medical services. However, the ratio of such patients who receive swallowing
treatment is still low in Taiwan. Clinicians are prompted to pay more attention
to the impairment in functional oral intake of children postsurgery after TBI.

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