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Timely surgery can cut brain trauma mortality by 30%

ORDINARY but timely treatment on brain trauma can drop the current rate of mortality and disability by 20 to 30 percent, medical experts said today at the opening of Shanghai Brain Trauma Research Institute in Renji Hospital.

Every year more than 1 million Chinese suffer brain trauma. About 10 percent of them die of this cause; another 20 percent suffer long-term coma, paralysis and speech deficiency.

"Timely treatment and improved medical technology are key to curing brain trauma," said Dr Jiang Jiyao, director of Renji's neurosurgery department. "The first hour after the head injury is the gold hour for treatment. However few patients can receive proper treatment within this crucial hour."

He said ambulance delay and long procedures at hospital stand in the way of immediate treatment.

About 60 percent of patients can survive if receiving surgery within one hour and the survival rate can drop to 30 percent if the surgery is conducted within two hours, but after three hours, the survival rate drops to zero.

Jiang emphasized the need to follow the brain trauma treatment guidebook. "The authorities have published three editions of the guidebook, but only half of the doctors know it and follow it," he said.

Traffic accident, fall from height and violence are the three major causes of brain trauma in China.


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