To (1) describe characteristics of children with anoxic or hypoxic brain injuries (AnHBI) who presented to an inpatient rehabilitation unit, (2) explore functional outcomes of children with AnHBI at discharge, and (3) examine differences between children with AnHBI associated with cardiac arrest (CA) vs those with respiratory arrest (RA) only.
Retrospective cohort study.
Pediatric inpatient rehabilitation hospital in the Northeast United States.
A total of 46 children and adolescents ages 11 months to 18 years admitted to an inpatient rehabilitation brain injury unit (1994-2018) for a first inpatient admission after AnHBI.
Main Outcome Measures
Pediatric Cerebral Performance Category Scale (PCPC), Pediatric Overall Performance Category, and Functional Independence Measure for Children developmental functional quotients (WeeFIM DFQs) total and subscale scores.
Most children had no disability before injury (PCPC=normal, n=37/46) and displayed significant functional impairments at admission to inpatient rehabilitation (PCPC=normal/mild, n=1/46). WeeFIM and PCPC scores improved significantly during inpatient rehabilitation (WeeFIM DFQ Total, P=.003; PCPC, P<.001), although many children continued to demonstrate significant impairments at discharge (PCPC=normal/mild, n=5/46). Functioning was better for the RA-only group relative to the CA group at admission (WeeFIM DFQ Total, P=.006) and discharge (WeeFIM DFQ Total, P<.001). Ongoing gains in functioning were noted 3 months after discharge compared with discharge (WeeFIM DFQ Cognitive, P=.008).
In this group of children with AnHBI who received inpatient rehabilitation, functional status improves significantly between rehabilitation admission and discharge. By discharge, many children continued to display significant impairments, a minority of children had favorable neurologic outcomes, and children with CA have worse outcomes than those with RA-only. Given the small sample size, future research should examine functional recovery during inpatient rehabilitation in a larger, multisite cohort and include longer-term follow-up to examine recovery patterns over time.
List of abbreviations:ABI (acquired brain injury), AnHBI (anoxic/hypoxic brain injury), CA (cardiac arrest), DFQ (developmental functional quotient), ICD (International Classification of Diseases), LOS (length of stay), PCPC (Pediatric Cerebral Performance Category), POPC (Pediatric Overall Performance Category), RA (respiratory arrest), TBI (traumatic brain injury), TTA (time to admission), WeeFIM (Functional Independence Measure for Children)
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Published online: February 07, 2023
Accepted: January 23, 2023
Received in revised form: October 26, 2022
Received: August 29, 2022
Publication stageIn Press Journal Pre-Proof
This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
© 2023 by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine.