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October 1985

Prognostic Variables in Nearly Drowned, Comatose Children

Author Affiliations

From the Pediatric Critical Care Units and Children's Lung Center, Miller Children's Hospital Medical Center of Long Beach (Calif) and the Department of Pediatrics, University of California, Irvine.

Am J Dis Child. 1985;139(10):1058-1059. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1985.02140120104038

• Prognostic variables were evaluated in 51 nearly drowned, comatose children, and they included values for age, estimated submersion time, initial arterial pH and core temperature, mean intracranial pressure (ICP), and mean cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP); the latter two values were obtained during the first 24 hours. There were 33 survivors (19 with intact neurologic survival and 14 with brain damage) and 18 deaths. Estimated submersion time and mean ICP and mean CPP determined survival but could not predict the neurologic outcome (Intact survival or brain damage). Age, arterial pH, and core temperature were not useful variables in predicting outcome. This study discourages the use of these unreliable variables in predicting survival in nearly drowned, comatose victims and, in addition, cautions against the use of mean ICP, mean CPP, and submersion time as predictors of neurologic outcome. Since mean ICP and mean CPP measurements are reliable in predicting survival but not neurologic outcome, major efforts should be undertaken to explore neurophysiologic and metabolic prognostic factors that may either discourage or mandate early institution of aggressive cerebral resuscitative measures In nearly drowned victims.

(AJDC 1985;139:1058-1059)