This study reviews the course and outcome of 130 patients who remained in a state of prolonged unawareness 30 days after severe cranio-cerebral trauma. Prognostic indicators and outcome were fitted by a logistic model. The significant prognostic factors observable in the first week after trauma were found to be ventilatory status, motor reactivity and significant extraneural trauma. The significant prognostic factors after the first month of unawareness were early ventilatory status, early motor reactivity, late epilepsy and hydrocephalus. The estimated probability of recovery of awareness (that is, consciousness) ranged from 0.94 in patients with early decorticate posturing in the absence of both extraneural trauma and ventilatory disturbance to 0.06 in patients with flaccidity, extraneural trauma and ventilatory disturbance in the first week after injury.
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