Brain impact apnoea

I was listening to one of the excellent SMACC Chicago panel discussions on the management of traumatic brain injury recently, and it occurred to me that the pathophysiology of patients presenting in cardiac arrest secondary to head-strike might be under appreciated pre-hospital.

After checking-in with a few colleagues to see if they were familiar with the concept of Brain Impact Apnoea, I thought you might find this quick summary from Life In The Fast Lane useful;

Here’s the ‘It’s a Knockout’ panel discussion from SMACC Chicago;

TLDR; It seems that the mechanism of a head-strike, leading to respiratory arrest, which then progresses to cardiac arrest might be poorly understood in the pre-hospital setting.  Attending a scene where a patient is in arrest post head-strike might be averted by simple airway management.


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