Pediatric traumatic brain injury prehospital guidelines: a systematic review and appraisal

Zhe Wang*, Dellvin Nguonly, Rebecca Y. Du, Roxanna M. Garcia, Sandi K. Lam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) disproportionately affects children within low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Prehospital emergency care can mitigate secondary brain injury and improve outcomes. Here, we systematically review clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) for pediatric TBI with the goal to inform LMICs prehospital care. Methods: A systematic search was conducted in PubMed/Medline, Embase, and Web of Science databases. We appraised evidence-based CPGs addressing prehospital management of pediatric TBI using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research & Evaluation (AGREE) tool. CPGs were rated as high-quality if ≥ 5 (out of 6) AGREE domains scored > 60%. Results: Of the 326 articles identified, 10 CPGs were included in analysis. All 10 were developed in HICs, and 4 were rated as high-quality. A total of 154 pediatric prehospital recommendations were grouped into three subcategories, initial assessment (35.7%), prehospital treatment (38.3%), and triage (26.0%). Of these, 79 (51.3%) were evidence-based with grading, and 31 (20.1%) were consensus-based without direct evidence. Conclusion: Currently available CPGs for prehospital pediatric TBI management were all developed in HICs. Four CPGs have high-quality, and recommendations from these can serve as frameworks for LMICs or resource-limited settings. Context-specific evaluation and implementation of evidence-based recommendations allow LMIC settings to respond to the public health crisis of pediatric TBI and address gaps in trauma care systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-62
Number of pages12
JournalChild's Nervous System
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Clinical practice guideline
  • Global health
  • Global neurosurgery
  • Pediatric traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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