Despite being a paediatric oncologist in my spare time, I am aware that brain tumours and neurosurgeons aren’t the only cause of acquired brain injury in childhood. And I know that the problems of ABI can be tremendous, from the horror of the initial injury and ICU, facing mortality and physical changes, through the unpredictable time of fully active rehab into a strange period where the gap between what could of been and what is can seem to grow wider. Aggression and agitation may be perceived as an entirely understandable reaction to living through ABI, but can cause real difficulties in family, school and social lives.So what can be done to help this? A highly skilled and supportive service around children with ABI would undoubtedly help, as would good information and education to those working with the child in their schooland leisure activities. But can carbamazapine, chill-pill for the electrical storms of focal epilepsy, work with ‘fits’ of aggression and agitation too?
Acknowledgement: Photo of Anthony Gormley’s ‘Another Place’ via the Guardian