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Corticosteroids increase short term mortality in patients with head injury

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 14 October 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:878
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. London

Corticosteroids, which have been used to treat head injuries for more than 30 years, increase the risk of death within the first two weeks after treatment, according to a study published last week (Lancet 2004;364: 1321-8.

The CRASH trial, a multicentre international collaboration funded by the UK Medical Research Council, was set up to establish the effects of corticosteroids in head injury after previous studies had shown inconclusive results. The study was designed to recruit 20 000 patients but was stopped in May 2004, when the data monitoring committee saw an increased risk of early …

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