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urgent request

John Reynolds reynolds at park.bu.edu
Thu Jan 28 19:18:06 EST 1993


To anyone who can help,

I am writing from Vancouver, where my wife and I are trying
to help family friends whose son was in a severe car accident.  I
am writing in the hope that you may be able to give me some idea 
about what sorts of questions I should be asking the doctor in charge,
or possibly give me the name of a neurosurgeon who could give us help 
or advice.

The patient was admitted to Vancouver General hospital Saturday night with 
shear brain hemorrhaging and a "basal" skull fracture.    The damage
appears to be diffuse, affecting many areas of the brain.  He 
described it as the worst head injury they have had in the hopital.
The doctor tells us that CAT scans have revealed
that the hemorrhaging has stopped.  However, the brain is swollen, and
the doctor has been draining fluid to keep the swelling as low as 
possible.  One thing that concerns me is that I have heard that it 
is common to use steroids to keep brain swelling down, especially 
immediately after a trauma, when swelling causes great damage.  The
doctor in charge told me that no steroids were used, and that they
are typically only used for chronic swelling.  He says that the patient
is not in mortal danger, but that the likelihood of his ever regaining
conciousness is very slim.

As you can understand, the parents, who speak no English (they are 
from Taiwan), are terrified, and I have to do anything I can to 
see that their son gets the best treatment possible, and that 
I am able to keep them informed as best I can.  Any advice you can 
offer would be deeply appreciated.  I will check my email frequently.  

Sincerely, John Reynolds



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