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May 1970

Comprehensive Care Following Multiple, Life-Threatening Injuries: Treatment of an Adolescent Boy

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Child Psychiatry and Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle.

Am J Dis Child. 1970;119(5):449-451. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1970.02100050451012

Psychosocial factors and features of personality development may play a crucial role in influencing the course of a child's illness and ultimate prognosis. Our concept of comprehensive care involves the systematic consideration of these factors. We regard such consideration to be well within the realm of the pediatrician's competence. What appears to be necessary is awareness of the psychosocial reactions that normally take place within the ill child and his family and how these reactions may affect his recovery. In many instances, this awareness can enable the pediatrician to institute appropriate prophylactic measures without resorting to psychiatric consultation or utilizing special psychiatric techniques.

The following case report concerns a teen-age boy. He sustained severe injuries in an accident resulting in marked permanent disabilities. He spent a total of 7½ months in the hospital, the first month of which was characterized by repeated life-threatening complications. We will attempt to demonstrate, by