Victoria T Trinh, Edward A. M. Duckworth

Surgical Neurology International 2011 2(1):157-157

Background: Despite refinements in neurotrauma care, the morbidity and mortality of severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) in pediatric patients remains high. We report a novel approach to the surgical management of increased intracranial pressure in severe TBI utilizing an in situ free-floating craniectomy technique, which was originally devised as a creative solution to the unique challenges in a Haitian field hospital following the 2010 earthquake. Case Description: A 13-month-old Haitian boy presented to Project Medishare field hospital in Port-au-Prince with left hemiplegia, a bulging fontanelle, and increasing lethargy following a traumatic head injury 4 days prior. An urgent craniectomy was performed based on clinical grounds (no brain imaging was available). A standard trauma flap incision was made, followed by a hemicraniectomy and expansion duraplasty. A small hematoma was evacuated. Frontal, temporal, and parietal bone flaps were placed on the dura in approximation to their normal anatomical configuration, but not affixed, leaving space for further brain edema, and the scalp was closed. The child experienced favorable peri-operative and early postoperative results. Conclusion: In situ free-floating craniectomy, while devised as a creative solution to limited resources in a natural disaster zone, may offer advantages over more traditional techniques.