Neurosurgery for dummies

Hans Bakken, Alex B. Valadka

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


During one of the editors first week in Iraq, a soldier with an obvious severe head injury from a roadside bomb was brought in. He was rapidly tagged as "needing urgent transfer" to the neurosurgery team in Balad. While waiting for the helicopter, his nurse fortunately noted that he was becoming more hypotensive and alerted one of the trauma surgeons. A more thorough evaluation was performed, a FAST exam demonstrated hemoperitoneum, and the patient underwent emergent splenectomy with subsequent rapid stabilization and then transfer. The most important point of this chapter is: the presence of a head injury should not change the initial treatment of the trauma patient. As a corollary, the premature transfer of a trauma patient to a neurosurgeon prior to appropriate initial treatment will adversely affect outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFront Line Surgery
Subtitle of host publicationA Practical Approach
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783319567808
ISBN (Print)9783319567792
StatePublished - Jul 21 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Burr hole
  • Craniotomy
  • Intracranial hypertension
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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