Cases reported "Skull Fracture, Depressed"

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1/2. Cranioplasty for patients with severe depressed skull bone defect after cerebrospinal fluid shunting.

    Cranioplasty is indicated for patients with a skull bone defect. patients may achieve subjective and objective improvements after cranioplasty. Some patients with severe brain swelling treated with decompressive craniectomy may develop hydrocephalus associated with severe brain bulging or even herniation via the skull bone defect. Consequently, these patients require a ventriculoperitoneal (V-P) shunt to relieve hydrocephalus. However, after shunting for hydrocephalus, they may develop severe sinking at the skull defect. Subsequently, when doing a cranioplasty for such a depressed defect, it may result in the dysfunction of the underlying brain, or even hematoma formation due to the large dead space. In this study, we advocate a temporary procedure to occlude the V-P shunt tube to allow the expansion of a depressed scalp flap to facilitate the subsequent cranioplasty. We report four patients with severe depression of the skull defect resulting from previous traumatic brain swelling followed by decompressive craniectomy and V-P shunting for communicating hydrocephalus. A simple subcutaneous clipping of the shunt tube was performed to allow the expansion of the depressed scalp to obliterate the dead space before the cranioplasty. All four patients obtained a satisfactory result without complications and achieved good functional recovery. A temporary occlusion of the shunt tube with an aneurysm clip before cranioplasty for patients with a severely depressed scalp flap is a simple and useful procedure. This procedure can safely and effectively eliminate the dead space between the skull plate and the dura to facilitate the cranioplasty, and thus prevent the potential complication of intracranial hematoma.
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keywords = craniectomy
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2/2. Acute isovolaemic haemodilution in two jehovah's witnesses presenting for major intracranial surgery.

    The jehovah's witnesses (JWS) is a religious sect with strong convictions against acceptance of blood and its products for medical care, including surgery. We present two cases of JWS, aged 24 and 19 years old, who had craniectomy for trauma and craniotomy for tumour excision, respectively. A team approach was employed in the care of both patients. During exhaustive preoperative discussions they re-affirmed their religious convictions but agreed to some modifications. Both patients accepted Acute Isovolaemic Haemodilution (AIH). However one of them insisted on non-discontinuation of the line used in collecting the blood from the vein, as that would constitute blood storage. The preoperative Packed Cell Volume (PCV) was 45% and 41% for the trauma and the tumour patients respectively. Two units of blood (1000 ml) were collected from each patient resulting in post donation PCV of 40% and 33%. The intraoperative blood loss was 300 ml and 2000 ml, respectively, and the units and crystalloid fluids were transfused for replacement. Postoperative PCV were 42% and 25%. The latter improved to 30% over the following two weeks with oral haematinics. The two cases are discussed in the light of the experience gained.
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keywords = craniectomy
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