The aim of the work is to update the “Guidelines for the Management of Severe Traumatic Brain Injury” published in 2012, to reflect the new available evidence, and develop the Italian national guideline for the management of severe pediatric head injuries to reduce variation in practice and ensure optimal care to patients.
MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched from January 2009 to October 2017. Inclusion criteria were: English language, pediatric populations (0-18 years) or mixed populations (pediatric-adult) with available age subgroup analyses. The guideline development process was started by the Promoting Group that composed a multidisciplinary panel of experts, with the representatives of the Scientific Societies, the independent expert specialists and a representative of the Patient Associations. The panel selected the clinical questions, discussed the evidences and formulated the text of the recommendations. The documentarists of the University of Florence oversaw the bibliographic research strategy. A group of literature reviewers evaluated the selected literature and compiled the table of evidence for each clinical question.
The search strategies identified 4254 articles. We selected 3227 abstract (first screening) and, finally included 67 articles (second screening) to update the guideline. This Italian update includes 25 evidence-based recommendations and 5 research recommendations.
In recent years, progress has been made on the understanding of severe pediatric brain injury, as well as on that concerning all major traumatic pathology. This has led to a progressive improvement in the clinical outcome, although the quantity and quality of evidence remains particularly low.