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Incidence, aetiology, and outcome of non-traumatic coma: A population based study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Rob ForsythORCiD, Dr Thomas Kelly, Professor Janet Eyre


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Aim - To determine the incidence, presentation, aetiology, and outcome of nontraumatic coma in children aged between 1 month and 16 years. Methods - In this prospective, population based, epidemiological study in the former Northern NHS region of the UK, cases were notified following any hospital admission or community death associated with non-traumatic coma. Coma was defined as a Glasgow Coma Score below 12 for more than six hours. Results - The incidence of non-traumatic coma was 30.8 per 100 000 children under 16 per year (6.0 per 100 000 general population per year). The age specific incidence was notably higher in the first year of life (160 per 100 000 children per year). CNS specific presentations became commoner with increasing age. In infants, nearly two thirds of presentations were with non-specific, systemic signs. Infection was the commonest overall aetiology. Aetiology remained unknown in 14% despite extensive investigation and/or autopsy. Mortality was highly dependent on aetiology, with aetiology specific mortality rates varying from 3% to 84%. With follow up to approximately 12 months, overall series mortality was 46%.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wong CP, Forsyth RJ, Kelly TP, Eyre JA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Archives of Disease in Childhood

Year: 2001

Volume: 84

Issue: 3

Pages: 193-199

Print publication date: 01/01/2001

ISSN (print): 0003-9888

ISSN (electronic): 1468-2044

Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1136/adc.84.3.193

PubMed id: 11207161


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