Sunday, July 28, 2013

Skull Surgery: Perils and Potential

Skull Surgery Offers Perils and Potential - " . . . “All of us have seen miracles in people we’ve done this on, but the truth is we’re also probably creating a larger population of patients who are significantly disabled,” said Dr. Karin M. Muraszko, the chairwoman of the neurosurgery department at the University of Michigan. It is difficult for surgeons to know which patients might recover and which are likely to be left barely functional. But the decision must be made under unyielding time pressure, in emergency rooms and intensive-care units and battlefield hospitals. “We don’t want to save lives if we’re saving people to a state where they can’t function,” said Dr. S. Andrew Josephson, a neurologist and the chairman of the ethics committee at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center. Skull removal to address cerebral swelling for traumatic brain injury and severe stroke first became widespread in the 1970s. Over the years, surgeons have refined the technique to the point where death is averted in about half the cases. . . ." (read more at link above)

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