NIHSS applied to cerebral neurological dive injuries as a tool for dive injury severity stratification.

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NIHSS applied to cerebral neurological dive injuries as a tool for dive injury severity stratification.

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Title: NIHSS applied to cerebral neurological dive injuries as a tool for dive injury severity stratification.
Author: Holck, P; Hunter, RW
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Evaluation via National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) upon presentation in hospital triage following ischemic stroke is predictive of recovery or progression to neurological deficits. Cerebral injuries sustained while diving have symptoms similar to stroke. Applying the NIHSS to dive injuries may successfully summarize neurological dive injuries, providing a standardized tool for study of dive injury data. METHODS: We retrospectively determined NIHSS scores for a diverse population of 192 divers presenting to the University of Hawaii recompression chamber from 1983-2002, both prior to initial treatment and after all treatment. Spinal and vestibular decompression sickness cases were excluded. RESULTS: The performance of the NIHSS among this diving population was similar to its performance as an accepted tool in evaluation of ischemic stroke, although results are influenced by the abundance of mild injury cases in the data set. The estimated C-statistic with NIHSS predicting no observable deficit was 0.88, and predicting post NIHSS of 0-1 was 0.85 (vs. 0.86 when applied to stroke). Sensitivity for predicting recovery (NIHSS 0-1) at discharge was 0.99 (vs. 0.97 for stroke). CONCLUSIONS: The NIHSS applied to cerebral dive injuries has adequate predictive ability and correlates with other measures of dive injuries, while providing a standardized, more graduated scale. The NIHSS may be useful as a standardized measurement for evaluation of treatment regimens and adjunctive therapy for diving injuries.
Description: Undersea & hyperbaric medicine : journal of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc.
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/5040
Date: 2006

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