Pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) protocols vary widely among institutions, despite the existence of published guidelines. This study seeks to identify significant differences in management of pediatric TBI across several institutions. Severe pediatric TBI protocols were collected from major US pediatric hospitals through direct communication with trauma staff. Of 24 institutions identified and contacted, 10 did not respond and 5 did not have a pediatric TBI protocol. Pediatric TBI protocols were successfully collected from 9 institutions. These 9 protocols were separated into treatment tiers analogous to those in the 2019 Society of Critical Care Medicine and World Federation of Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care Societies guidelines, and the intervention variables were identified and compared across the 9 institutions. First-line therapies were similar between institutions, including seizure prophylaxis, maintenance of normoglycemia and normothermia, and avoidance of hypoxia, hyponatremia, and hypotension. However, significant variation across institutions was found regarding timing of cerebrospinal fluid drainage, hyperventilation, and neuromuscular blockade. When included in institutional protocols, most therapies are in line with the 2019 guidelines, except for diversion of cerebrospinal fluid, hyperventilation, maintenance of cerebral perfusion pressure, and use of neuromuscular blocking agents. Although these variations may represent differences in style or preference, the optimal timing of these specific treatment variations should be studied to determine the impact of each protocol on clinical outcomes.

You do not currently have access to this content.