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1.  Isolated traumatic head injury in children: Analysis of 276 observations 
Background:
To determine predictive factors of mortality among children after isolated traumatic brain injury.
Materials and Methods:
In this retrospective study, we included all consecutive children with isolated traumatic brain injury admitted to the 22-bed intensive care unit (ICU) of Habib Bourguiba University Hospital (Sfax, Tunisia). Basic demographic, clinical, biochemical, and radiological data were recorded on admission and during ICU stay.
Results:
There were 276 patients with 196 boys (71%) and 80 girls, with a mean age of 6.7 ± 3.8 years. The main cause of trauma was road traffic accident (58.3%). Mean Glasgow Coma Scale score was 8 ± 2, Mean Injury Severity Score (ISS) was 23.3 ± 5.9, Mean Pediatric Trauma Score (PTS) was 4.8 ± 2.3, and Mean Pediatric Risk of Mortality (PRISM) was 10.8 ± 8. A total of 259 children required mechanical ventilation. Forty-eight children (17.4%) died. Multivariate analysis showed that factors associated with a poor prognosis were PRISM > 24 (OR: 10.98), neurovegetative disorder (OR: 7.1), meningeal hemorrhage (OR: 2.74), and lesion type VI according to Marshall tomographic grading (OR: 13.26).
Conclusion:
In Tunisia, head injury is a frequent cause of hospital admission and is most often due to road traffic injuries. Short-term prognosis is influenced by demographic, clinical, radiological, and biochemical factors. The need to put preventive measures in place is underscored.
doi:10.4103/0974-2700.76831
PMCID: PMC3097575  PMID: 21633564
Acute head injury; children; intensive care unit; motor-vehicle crash; prognosis; trauma
2.  Variability of ICU Use in Adult Patients With Minor Traumatic Intracranial Hemorrhage 
Annals of emergency medicine  2012;61(5):10.1016/j.annemergmed.2012.08.024.
Study objective
Patients with minor traumatic intracranial hemorrhage are frequently admitted to the ICU, although many never require critical care interventions. To describe ICU resource use in minor traumatic intracranial hemorrhage, we assess (1) the variability of ICU use in a cohort of patients with minor traumatic intracranial hemorrhage across multiple trauma centers, and (2) the proportion of adult patients with traumatic intracranial hemorrhage who are admitted to the ICU and never receive a critical care intervention during hospitalization. In addition, we evaluate the association between ICU admission and key independent variables.
Methods
A structured, historical cohort study of adult patients (aged 18 years and older) with minor traumatic intracranial hemorrhage was conducted within a consortium of 8 Level I trauma centers in the western United States from January 2005 to June 2010. The study population included patients with minor traumatic intracranial hemorrhage, defined as an emergency department (ED) Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score of 15 (normal mental status) and an Injury Severity Score less than 16 (no other major organ injury). The primary outcome measure was initial ICU admission. The secondary outcome measure was a critical care intervention during hospitalization. Critical care interventions included mechanical ventilation, neurosurgical intervention, transfusion of blood products, vasopressor or inotrope administration, and invasive hemodynamic monitoring. ED disposition and the proportion of ICU patients not receiving a critical care intervention were compared across sites with descriptive statistics. The association between ICU admission and predetermined independent variables was analyzed with multivariable regression.
Results
Among 11,240 adult patients with traumatic intracranial hemorrhage, 1,412 (13%) had minor traumatic intracranial hemorrhage and complete ED disposition data (mean age 48 years; SD 20 years). ICU use within this cohort across sites ranged from 50% to 97%. Overall, 847 of 888 patients (95%) with minor traumatic intracranial hemorrhage who were admitted to the ICU did not receive a critical care intervention during hospitalization (range between sites 80% to 100%). Three of 524 (0.6%) patients discharged home or admitted to the observation unit or ward received a critical care intervention. After controlling for severity of injury (age, blood pressure, and Injury Severity Score), study site was independently associated with ICU admission (odds ratios ranged from 1.5 to 30; overall effect P<.001).
Conclusion
Across a consortium of trauma centers in the western United States, there was wide variability in ICU use within a cohort of patients with minor traumatic intracranial hemorrhage. Moreover, a large proportion of patients admitted to the ICU never required a critical care intervention, indicating the potential to improve use of critical care resources in patients with minor traumatic intracranial hemorrhage.
doi:10.1016/j.annemergmed.2012.08.024
PMCID: PMC3880139  PMID: 23021347
3.  The Influence of Definition and Location of Hypotension on Outcome Following Severe Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury 
Critical care medicine  2005;33(11):2645-2650.
Objective
To examine the influence of definition and location (field, emergency department [ED] or Pediatric Intensive Care Unit [PICU]) of hypotension on outcome following severe pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
Design
Retrospective Cohort study.
Setting
Harborview Medical Center (level I pediatric trauma center), Seattle, WA over a 5 year period between 1998–2003.
Participants
93 children < 14 years of age with TBI following injury, head abbreviated injury score (AIS) ≥ 3, and PICU admission Glasgow Coma Sale (GCS) score < 9 formed the analytic sample. Data sources included the Harborview Trauma Registry and Hospital Records.
Outcome Measures
The relationship between hypotension and outcome was examined comparing two definitions of hypotension: 1) systolic blood pressure (SBP) < 5th percentile for age and 2) SBP < 90 mmHg. Hospital discharge Glasgow Outcome score (GOS) < 4, or disposition of either death or discharge to a skilled nursing facility were considered poor outcomes. PICU and hospital length of stay (LOS) were also examined.
Results
SBP < 5th percentile for age was more highly associated with poor hospital discharge GOS (p = 0.001), poor disposition (p = 0.02), PICU LOS (RR 9.5; 95% CI 6.7–12.3) and hospital LOS (RR 18.8; 95% CI 14.0–23.5) than SBP < 90mmHg. Hypotension occurring in either the field or ED, but not in the PICU, was associated with poor GOS (p = 0.008), poor disposition (p= 0.03) and hospital LOS (RR 18.7; 95% CI 13.1–24.2).
Conclusions
Early hypotension, defined as SBP < 5th percentile for age in the field and/or ED, was a better predictor of poor outcome than delayed hypotension or the use of SBP < 90 mmHg.
PMCID: PMC1361352  PMID: 16276192
blood pressure; brain injury; pediatric trauma; children; head trauma; hemodynamics
4.  Acute Care Clinical Indicators Associated with Discharge Outcomes in Children with Severe Traumatic Brain Injury 
Critical care medicine  2014;42(10):2258-2266.
Objective
The relationship between acute care clinical indicators in the first severe Pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) Guidelines and outcomes have not been examined. We aimed to develop a set of acute care guideline-influenced clinical indicators of adherence and tested the relationship between these indicators during the first 72 hours after hospital admission and discharge outcomes.
Design
Retrospective multicenter cohort study
Setting
Five regional pediatric trauma centers affiliated with academic medical centers.
Patients
Children under 17 years with severe TBI (admission Glasgow coma scale (GCS) score ≤ 8, ICD-9 diagnosis codes of 800.0-801.9, 803.0-804.9, 850.0-854.1, 959.01, 950.1-950.3, 995.55, maximum head abbreviated injury severity score ≥ 3) who received tracheal intubation for at-least 48 hours in the intensive care unit (ICU) between 2007 -2011 were examined.
Interventions
None
Measurements and Main Results
Total percent adherence to the clinical indicators across all treatment locations (pre-hospital [PH], emergency department [ED], operating room [OR], and intensive care unit [ICU]) during the first 72 hours after admission to study center were determined. Main outcomes were discharge survival and Glasgow outcome scale (GOS) score.
Total adherence rate across all locations and all centers ranged from 68-78%. Clinical indicators of adherence were associated with survival (aHR 0.94; 95 % CI 0.91, 0.96). Three indicators were associated with survival: absence of PH hypoxia (aHR 0.20; 95% CI 0.08, 0.46), early ICU start of nutrition (aHR 0.06; 95% CI 0.01, 0.26), and ICU PaCO2 >30 mm Hg in the absence of radiographic or clinical signs of cerebral herniation (aHR 0.22; 95% CI 0.06, 0.8). Clinical indicators of adherence were associated with favorable GOS among survivors, (aHR 0.99; 95% CI 0.98, 0.99). Three indicators were associated with favorable discharge GOS: all OR CPP >40 mm Hg (aRR 0.64; 95% CI 0.55, 0.75), all ICU CPP > 40mm Hg (aRR 0.74; 95% CI 0.63, 0.87), and no surgery (any type; aRR 0.72; 95% CI 0.53, 0.97).
Conclusions
Acute care clinical indicators of adherence to the Pediatric Guidelines were associated with significantly higher discharge survival and improved discharge GOS. Some indicators were protective, regardless of treatment location, suggesting the need for an interdisciplinary approach to the care of children with severe TBI.
doi:10.1097/CCM.0000000000000507
PMCID: PMC4167478  PMID: 25083982
pediatrics; trauma; brain injury; indicators; outcomes; injury
5.  Delayed Traumatic Intracranial Haemorrhage and Progressive Traumatic Brain Injury in a Major Referral Centre Based in a Developing Country 
A repeat Computer Tomographic (CT) brain after 24–48 hours from the 1st scanning is usually practiced in most hospitals in South East Asia where intracranial pressure monitoring (ICP) is routinely not done. This interval for repeat CT would be shortened if there was a deterioration in Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS). Most of the time the prognosis of any intervention may be too late especially in hospitals with high patient-to-doctor ratio causing high mortality and morbidity. The purpose of this study was to determine the important predictors for early detection of Delayed Traumatic Intracranial Haemorrhage (DTICH) and Progressive Traumatic Brain Injury (PTBI) before deterioration of GCS occurred, as well as the most ideal timing of repeated CT brain for patients admitted in Malaysian hospitals. A total of 81 patients were included in this study over a period of six months. The CT scan brain was studied by comparing the first and second CT brain to diagnose the presence of DTICH/PTBI. The predictors tested were categorised into patient factors, CT brain findings and laboratory investigations. The mean age was 33.1 ± 15.7 years with a male preponderance of 6.36:1. Among them, 81.5% were patients from road traffic accidents with Glasgow Coma Scale ranging from 4 – 15 (median of 12) upon admission. The mean time interval delay between trauma and first CT brain was 179.8 ± 121.3 minutes for the PTBI group. The DTICH group, 9.9% of the patients were found to have new intracranial clots. Significant predictors detected were different referral hospitals (p=0.02), total GCS status (p=0.026), motor component of GCS (p=0.043), haemoglobin level (p<0.001), platelet count (p=0.011) and time interval between trauma and first CT brain (p=0.022). In the PTBI group, 42.0% of the patients were found to have new changes (new clot occurrence, old clot expansion and oedema) in the repeat CT brain. Univariate statistical analysis revealed that age (p=0.03), race (p=0.035), types of admission (p=0.024), GCS status (p=0.02), pupillary changes (p=0.014), number of intracranial lesion (p=0.004), haemoglobin level (p=0.038), prothrombin time (p=0.016) as the best predictors of early detection of changes. Multiple logistics regression analysis indicated that age, severity, GCS status (motor component) and GCS during admission were significantly associated with second CT scan with changes. This study showed that 9.9% of the total patients seen in the period of study had DTICH and 42% had PTBI. In the early period after traumatic head injury, the initial CT brain did not reveal the full extent of haemorrhagic injury and associated cerebral oedema. Different referral hospitals of different trauma level, GCS status, motor component of the GCS, haemoglobin level, platelet count and time interval between trauma and the first CT brain were the significant predictors for DTICH. Whereas the key determinants of PTBI were age, race, types of admission, GCS status, pupillary changes, number of intracranial bleed, haemoglobin level, prothrombin time and of course time interval between trauma and first CT brain. Any patients who had traumatic head injury in hospitals with no protocol of repeat CT scan or intracranial pressure monitoring especially in developing countries are advised to have to repeat CT brain at the appropriate quickest time .
PMCID: PMC3341922  PMID: 22589639
delayed; intracranial; haemorrhage; progressive brain injury; computer tomographic scan
6.  Trauma admissions to the Intensive care unit at a reference hospital in Northwestern Tanzania 
Background
Major trauma has been reported to be a major cause of hospitalization and intensive care utilization worldwide and consumes a significant amount of the health care budget. The aim of this study was to describe the characteristics and treatment outcome of major trauma patients admitted into our ICU and to identify predictors of outcome.
Methods
Between January 2008 and December 2010, a descriptive prospective study of all trauma admissions to a multidisciplinary intensive care unit (ICU) of Bugando Medical Centre in Northwestern Tanzania was conducted.
Results
A total of 312 cases of major trauma were admitted in the ICU, representing 37.1% of the total ICU admissions. Males outnumbered females by a ratio of 5.5:1. Their median age was 27 years. Trauma admissions were almost exclusively emergencies (95.2%) and came mainly from the Accident and Emergency (60.6%) and Operating room (23.4%). Road traffic crash (RTC) was the most common cause of injuries affecting 70.8% of patients. Two hundred fourteen patients (68.6%) required surgical intervention. The overall ICU length of stay (LOS) for all trauma patients ranged from 1 to 59 days (median = 8 days). The median ICU length of hospital stay (LOS) for survivors and non-survivors were 8 and 5 days respectively. (P = 0.002). Mortality rate was 32.7%. Mortality rate of trauma patients was significantly higher than that of all ICU admissions (32.7% vs. 18.8%, P = 0.0012). According to multivariate logistic regression analysis, multiple injuries, severe head injuries and burns were responsible for a longer mean ICU stay (P < 0.001) whereas admission Glasgow Coma Score < 9, systolic blood pressure < 90 mmHg, injury severity core >16, prolonged duration of loss of consciousness, delayed ICU admission (0.028), the need for ventilatory support and finding of space occupying lesion on computed tomography scan significantly influenced mortality (P < 0.001).
Conclusion
Trauma resulting from road traffic crashes is a leading cause of intensive care utilization in our hospital. Urgent preventive measures targeting at reducing the occurrence of RTCs is necessary to reduce ICU trauma admissions in this region. Improved pre- and in-hospital care of trauma victims will improve the outcome of trauma patients admitted to our ICU.
doi:10.1186/1757-7241-19-61
PMCID: PMC3214823  PMID: 22024353
Intensive care unit; trauma admissions; prevalence; injury characteristics; outcome; Tanzania
7.  Early tracheostomy in intensive care trauma patients improves resource utilization: a cohort study and literature review 
Critical Care  2004;8(5):R347-R352.
Introduction
Despite the integral role played by tracheostomy in the management of trauma patients admitted to intensive care units (ICUs), its timing remains subject to considerable practice variation. The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of early tracheostomy on the duration of mechanical ventilation, ICU length of stay, and outcomes in trauma ICU patients.
Methods
The following data were obtained from a prospective ICU database containing information on all trauma patients who received tracheostomy over a 5-year period: demographics, Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score, Simplified Acute Physiology Score II, Glasgow Coma Scale score, Injury Severity Score, type of injuries, ICU and hospital outcomes, ICU and hospital length of stay (LOS), and the type of tracheostomy procedure (percutaneous versus surgical). Tracheostomy was considered early if it was performed by day 7 of mechanical ventilation. We compared the duration of mechanical ventilation, ICU LOS and outcome between early and late tracheostomy patients. Multivariate analysis was performed to assess the impact of tracheostomy timing on ICU stay.
Results
Of 653 trauma ICU patients, 136 (21%) required tracheostomies, 29 of whom were early and 107 were late. Age, sex, Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score, Simplified Acute Physiology Score II and Injury Severity Score were not different between the two groups. Patients with early tracheostomy were more likely to have maxillofacial injuries and to have lower Glasgow Coma Scale score. Duration of mechanical ventilation was significantly shorter with early tracheostomy (mean ± standard error: 9.6 ± 1.2 days versus 18.7 ± 1.3 days; P < 0.0001). Similarly, ICU LOS was significantly shorter (10.9 ± 1.2 days versus 21.0 ± 1.3 days; P < 0.0001). Following tracheostomy, patients were discharged from the ICU after comparable periods in both groups (4.9 ± 1.2 days versus 4.9 ± 1.1 days; not significant). ICU and hospital mortality rates were similar. Using multivariate analysis, late tracheostomy was an independent predictor of prolonged ICU stay (>14 days).
Conclusion
Early tracheostomy in trauma ICU patients is associated with shorter duration of mechanical ventilation and ICU LOS, without affecting ICU or hospital outcome. Adopting a standardized strategy of early tracheostomy in appropriately selected patients may help in reducing unnecessary resource utilization.
doi:10.1186/cc2924
PMCID: PMC1065024  PMID: 15469579
intensive care; mechanical ventilation; resource utilization; Saudi Arabia; trauma; tracheostomy; weaning
8.  Demographic profile and outcome analysis of pediatric intensive care patients 
Hippokratia  2011;15(4):316-322.
Background: Demographic profile and outcome can vary in pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) patients. The aim of our study was to analyze demographic profile and outcome in a Greek PICU.
Methods: Prospective observational study. Data collected: demographic profile; co morbidities; source and diagnosis at admission; Pediatric Risk of Mortality (PRISM III-24); Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS, pediatric); Injury Severity Score (ISS); procedures; treatment; mechanical ventilation (MV); MV days; length of stay (LOS) and the outcome at PICU discharge. Statistical analysis: Student’s t-test; Mann-Whitney U test; Kruskall-Wallis test; χ2 criterion with relative risk (RR) estimation; Cox regression analysis; as appropriate. Values are mean ± SD, p < 0.05.
Results: 300 patients (196 boys/104 girls), aged 54.26 ± 49.93 months, were admitted due to respiratory failure (22.3%), head trauma (15.3%), seizures (13.7%), coma (9.7%), postoperative care (7.7%), polytrauma (7%), accidents (5.3%), sepsis-septic shock (5.3%), cardiovascular diseases (4.7%), metabolic diseases (3.3%), multiple organ failure syndrome (3%) and miscellaneous diseases (2.7%). PRISM III-24 score was 8.97 ± 7.79 and predicted mortality rate was 11.16% ± 18.65. MV rate was 67.3% (58.3% at admission) for 6.54 ± 14.45 days, LOS 8.85 ± 23.28 days and actual PICU mortality rate 9.7%. Patients who died had statistically worse severity scores. Significant mortality risk factors were inotropic use, PRISM III-24 > 8, MV, arterial and central venous catheterization, nosocomial infections, complications, and cancer. COX regression analysis showed that PRISM III-24 score and inotropic use were independent predictors of mortality.
Conclusions: Demographic profile followed similar patterns to relevant studies while there were major differences in case mix and the severity of the disease. Mortality rate (9.7%) was relatively high but better than predicted and in accordance with the characteristics of our population.
PMCID: PMC3876846  PMID: 24391412
pediatric intensive care unit; pediatric risk of mortality PRISM III-24; mortality; mortality risk factors
9.  Multiple trauma in children: predicting outcome and long-term results 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2002;45(2):126-131.
Objective
To analyze the management of pediatric trauma and the efficacy of the Pediatric Trauma Score (PTS) in classifying injury severity and predicting prognosis.
Design
A retrospective case series.
Setting
The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, a major pediatric trauma centre.
Patients
One hundred and forty-nine traumatized children with 2 or more injuries to 1 body system or a single injury to 2 or more body systems.
Interventions
Use of the PTS and Glasgow Coma Scale score in trauma management.
Main outcome measures
Types of injuries sustained, complications, missed injuries, psychosocial effects and residual deficiencies.
Results
The average PTS was 8.5 (range from −3 to 11). The total number of injuries sustained was 494, most commonly closed head injury (86). Forty-two percent of children with an average trauma score of 8.5 were treated surgically. There were 13 missed injuries, and complications were encountered in 57 children, the most common being secondary to fractures. Forty-eight (32%) children had residual long-term deficiency, most commonly neurologic deficiency secondary to head injury.
Conclusions
Fractures should be stabilized early to decrease long-term complications. A deficiency of the PTS is the weighting of open fractures of a minor bone. For example, metacarpal fracture is given the same weight as an open fracture of the femur. Neuropsychologic difficulties secondary to trauma are a major sequela of trauma in children.
PMCID: PMC3686935  PMID: 11939656
10.  Predicting Outcome after Traumatic Brain Injury: Development and International Validation of Prognostic Scores Based on Admission Characteristics 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(8):e165.
Background
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability. A reliable prediction of outcome on admission is of great clinical relevance. We aimed to develop prognostic models with readily available traditional and novel predictors.
Methods and Findings
Prospectively collected individual patient data were analyzed from 11 studies. We considered predictors available at admission in logistic regression models to predict mortality and unfavorable outcome according to the Glasgow Outcome Scale at 6 mo after injury. Prognostic models were developed in 8,509 patients with severe or moderate TBI, with cross-validation by omission of each of the 11 studies in turn. External validation was on 6,681 patients from the recent Medical Research Council Corticosteroid Randomisation after Significant Head Injury (MRC CRASH) trial. We found that the strongest predictors of outcome were age, motor score, pupillary reactivity, and CT characteristics, including the presence of traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage. A prognostic model that combined age, motor score, and pupillary reactivity had an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) between 0.66 and 0.84 at cross-validation. This performance could be improved (AUC increased by approximately 0.05) by considering CT characteristics, secondary insults (hypotension and hypoxia), and laboratory parameters (glucose and hemoglobin). External validation confirmed that the discriminative ability of the model was adequate (AUC 0.80). Outcomes were systematically worse than predicted, but less so in 1,588 patients who were from high-income countries in the CRASH trial.
Conclusions
Prognostic models using baseline characteristics provide adequate discrimination between patients with good and poor 6 mo outcomes after TBI, especially if CT and laboratory findings are considered in addition to traditional predictors. The model predictions may support clinical practice and research, including the design and analysis of randomized controlled trials.
Ewout Steyerberg and colleagues describe a prognostic model for the prediction of outcome of traumatic brain injury using data available on admission.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) causes a large amount of morbidity and mortality worldwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control, for example, about 1.4 million Americans will sustain a TBI—a head injury—each year. Of these, 1.1 million will be treated and released from an emergency department, 235,000 will be hospitalized, and 50,000 will die. The burden of disease is much higher in the developing world, where the causes of TBI such as traffic accidents occur at higher rates and treatment may be less available.
Why Was This Study Done?
Given the resources required to treat TBI, a very useful research tool would be the ability to accurately predict on admission to hospital what the outcome of a given injury might be. Currently, scores such as the Glasgow Coma Scale are useful to predict outcome 24 h after the injury but not before.
Prognostic models are useful for several reasons. Clinically, they help doctors and patients make decisions about treatment. They are also useful in research studies that compare outcomes in different groups of patients and when planning randomized controlled trials. The study presented here is one of a number of analyses done by the IMPACT research group over the past several years using a large database that includes data from eight randomized controlled trials and three observational studies conducted between 1984 and 1997. There are other ongoing studies that also seek to develop new prognostic models; one such recent study was published in BMJ by a group involving the lead author of the PLoS Medicine paper described here.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The authors analyzed data that had been collected prospectively on individual patients from the 11 studies included in the database and derived models to predict mortality and unfavorable outcome at 6 mo after injury for the 8,509 patients with severe or moderate TBI. They found that the strongest predictors of outcome were age, motor score, pupillary reactivity, and characteristics on the CT scan, including the presence of traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage. A core prognostic model could be derived from the combination of age, motor score, and pupillary reactivity. A better score could be obtained by adding CT characteristics, secondary problems (hypotension and hypoxia), and laboratory measurements of glucose and hemoglobin. The scores were then tested to see how well they predicted outcome in a different group of patients—6,681 patients from the recent Medical Research Council Corticosteroid Randomisation after Significant Head Injury (MRC CRASH) trial.
What Do These Findings Mean?
In this paper the authors show that it is possible to produce prognostic models using characteristics collected on admission as part of routine care that can discriminate between patients with good and poor outcomes 6 mo after TBI, especially if the results from CT scans and laboratory findings are added to basic models. This paper has to be considered together with other studies, especially the paper mentioned above, which was recently published in the BMJ (MRC CRASH Trial Collaborators [2008] Predicting outcome after traumatic brain injury: practical prognostic models based on large cohort of international patients. BMJ 336: 425–429.). The BMJ study presented a set of similar, but subtly different models, with specific focus on patients in developing countries; in that case, the patients in the CRASH trial were used to produce the models, and the patients in the IMPACT database were used to verify one variant of the models. Unfortunately this related paper was not disclosed to us during the initial review process; however, during PLoS Medicine's subsequent consideration of this manuscript we learned of it. After discussion with the reviewers, we took the decision that the models described in the PLoS Medicine paper are sufficiently different from those reported in the other paper and as such proceeded with publication of the paper. Ideally, however, these two sets of models would have been reviewed and published side by side, so that readers could easily evaluate the respective merits and value of the two different sets of models in the light of each other. The two sets of models are, however, discussed in a Perspective article also published in PLoS Medicine (see below).
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050165.
This paper and the BMJ paper mentioned above are discussed further in a PLoS Medicine Perspective article by Andrews and Young
The TBI Impact site provides a tool to calculate the scores described in this paper
The CRASH trial, which is used to validate the scores mentioned here, has a Web site explaining the trial and its results
The R software, which was used for the prognostic analyses, is freely available
The MedlinePlus encyclopedia has information on head injury
The WHO site on neurotrauma discusses head injury from a global perspective
The CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control gives statistics on head injury in the US and advice on prevention
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050165
PMCID: PMC2494563  PMID: 18684008
11.  Admission Oxygenation and Ventilation Parameters Associated with Discharge Survival in Severe Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury 
Purpose
Current Brain Trauma Foundation guidelines recommend avoiding hypoxemia after severe pediatric Traumatic brain injury (TBI). Yet, recent studies on optimum admission oxygenation and ventilation parameters associated with discharge survival in pediatric TBI are lacking.
Materials and Methods
After IRB approval, a retrospective study involving pediatric patients ages ≤ 14 years with severe TBI (head Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) score ≥ 3, Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score ≤ 8 on admission) admitted to Harborview Medical Center (Level 1 pediatric trauma center), Seattle, WA, during 2003 to 2007 was performed. Admission demographics, clinical data and laboratory characteristics were abstracted. Hypoxemia was defined as PaO2 < 60 mmHg, hypocarbia was defined as PaCO2 ≤ 35 mmHg and hypercarbia was defined as PaCO2 ≥ 46 mmHg.
Results
194 patients met inclusion criteria of which 162 (83.5%) patients survived. Admission hypoxemia occurred in 9 (5.6%) patients who survived and 8 (25%) patients who died (p < 0.001). Children with admission PaCO2 between 36–45 mmHg had greater discharge survival compared to those with both admission hypocarbia (PaCO2 ≤ 35 mmHg) and hypercarbia (PaCO2 ≥ 46 mmHg). Admission PaO2 301–500 mmHg (AOR 8.02 [95% CI 1.73 – 37.10]; p = 0.008) and admission PaCO2 36–45 mmHg (AOR 5.47 [95% CI 1.30 – 23.07]; p = 0.02) were independently associated with discharge survival.
Conclusion
Discharge survival after severe pediatric TBI was associated with admission PaO2 301–500 mmHg and PaCO2 36–45 mmHg. Admission hypocarbia and hypercarbia were each associated with increased discharge mortality.
doi:10.1007/s00381-012-1984-5
PMCID: PMC3596474  PMID: 23207977
Traumatic Brain Injury; Oxygenation; Ventilation
12.  Functional outcome following rehabilitation in chronic severe traumatic brain injury patients: A prospective study 
Objective:
The objective was to assess functional outcome of rehabilitation in chronic severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) in-patients.
Setting:
The study was performed at university tertiary research hospital.
Study Design:
A prospective cross-sectional study
Materials and Methods:
Forty patients (34 men) with mean age of 30.1 years (range 6--60, SD 10.8), severe TBI (Glasgow coma scale 3--8, duration of coma > 6 hours, post-traumatic amnesia> 1 day postinjury) were admitted in rehabilitation unit minimum 3 months (mean 7.7±4.6 months, range 3--22 months) following injury falling in Glasgow outcome scale (GOS) of 3. Functional recovery was assessed using the Barthel Index (BI) score and disability rating scores (DRS).
Data Analysis:
Paired Student's t-test was used for the assessment of functional recovery using mean BI scores at admission and discharge. The Wilcoxon nonparametric test was used for the assessment of functional recovery by comparing admission and discharge DRS scores.
Results:
Mean duration of stay was 30.8 days (range 18--91, SD15.6). Significant functional recovery observed in patients comparing BI and DRS scores at admission and discharge (mean BI admission 50.5±25.4, range 0--85 vs. mean discharge BI score 61.1±25.3, range 0--95, P<0.001, mean DRS admission score 7.57±4.1, range 2.5--21.0 vs. mean discharge DRS score 6.36±4.3, range 1.0-21.0, P<0.001).
Conclusion:
Patients with severe TBI continue to show functional recovery even in chronic phase with rehabilitation. They are left with significant residual physical and cognitive deficits and would require long-term care and assistance from care givers for the daily activities, as suggested by the mean DRS score at discharge.
doi:10.4103/0972-2327.94995
PMCID: PMC3345588  PMID: 22566725
Functional outcome; inpatient rehabilitation; severe traumatic brain injury
13.  Pre-injury polypharmacy as a predictor of outcomes in trauma patients 
Background:
One of the hallmarks of modern medicine is the improving management of chronic health conditions. Long-term control of chronic disease entails increasing utilization of multiple medications and resultant polypharmacy. The goal of this study is to improve our understanding of the impact of polypharmacy on outcomes in trauma patients 45 years and older.
Materials and Methods:
Patients of age ≥45 years were identified from a Level I trauma center institutional registry. Detailed review of patient records included the following variables: Home medications, comorbid conditions, injury severity score (ISS), Glasgow coma scale (GCS), morbidity, mortality, hospital length of stay (LOS), intensive care unit (ICU) LOS, functional outcome measures (FOM), and discharge destination. Polypharmacy was defined by the number of medications: 0–4 (minor), 5–9 (major), or ≥10 (severe). Age- and ISS-adjusted analysis of variance and multivariate analyses were performed for these groups. Comorbidity–polypharmacy score (CPS) was defined as the number of pre-admission medications plus comorbidities. Statistical significance was set at alpha = 0.05.
Results:
A total of 323 patients were examined (mean age 62.3 years, 56.1% males, median ISS 9). Study patients were using an average of 4.74 pre-injury medications, with the number of medications per patient increasing from 3.39 for the 45–54 years age group to 5.68 for the 75+ year age group. Age- and ISS-adjusted mortality was similar in the three polypharmacy groups. In multivariate analysis only age and ISS were independently predictive of mortality. Increasing polypharmacy was associated with more comorbidities, lower arrival GCS, more complications, and lower FOM scores for self-feeding and expression-communication. In addition, hospital and ICU LOS were longer for patients with severe polypharmacy. Multivariate analysis shows age, female gender, total number of injuries, number of complications, and CPS are independently associated with discharge to a facility (all, P < 0.02).
Conclusion:
Over 40% of trauma patients 45 years and older were receiving 5 or more medications at the time of their injury. Although these patients do not appear to have higher mortality, they are at increased risk for complications, lower functional outcomes, and longer hospital and intensive care stays. CPS may be useful when quantifying the severity of associated comorbid conditions in the context of traumatic injury and warrants further investigation.
doi:10.4103/2229-5151.84793
PMCID: PMC3249840  PMID: 22229132
Comorbid conditions; outcome prediction; polypharmacy; trauma outcomes
14.  Early coagulopathy is an independent predictor of mortality in children after severe trauma 
Shock (Augusta, Ga.)  2013;39(5):421-426.
To determine whether early coagulopathy affects the mortality associated with severe civilian pediatric trauma, trauma patients < 18 years of age admitted to a pediatric intensive care unit from 2001 to 2010 were evaluated. Patients with burns, primary asphyxiation, preexisting bleeding diathesis, lack of coagulation studies or transferred from other hospitals > 24 hours after injury were excluded. Age, gender, race, mechanism of injury, initial systolic blood pressure (SBP), Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score, Injury Severity Score (ISS), prothrombin time (PT), partial thromboplastin time (PTT), platelet count and International Normalized Ratio (INR) were recorded. An arterial or venous blood gas was performed, if clinically indicated. Coagulopathy was defined as an INR > 1.2. The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality. Secondary outcomes were lengths of ICU and hospital stay. Eight hundred three patients were included in the study. Overall mortality was 13.4%. The incidence of age-adjusted hypotension was 5.4%. Early coagulopathy was observed in 37.9% of patients. High ISS and/or hypotension were associated with early coagulopathy and higher mortality. Early coagulopathy was associated with a modest increase in mortality in pediatric trauma patients without traumatic brain injury (TBI). In contrast, the combination of TBI and early coagulopathy was associated with a four-fold increase in mortality in this patient population. Early coagulopathy is an independent predictor of mortality in civilian pediatric patients with severe trauma. The increase in mortality was particularly significant in patients with TBI either isolated or combined with other injuries, suggesting that a rapid correction of this coagulopathy could substantially decrease the mortality after TBI in pediatric trauma patients.
doi:10.1097/SHK.0b013e31828e08cb
PMCID: PMC3689548  PMID: 23591559
Pediatric trauma; Coagulopathy; Traumatic brain injury; Tissue hypoperfusion; Mortality
15.  The relation between the incidence of hypernatremia and mortality in patients with severe traumatic brain injury 
Critical Care  2009;13(4):R110.
Introduction
The study was aimed at verifying whether the occurrence of hypernatremia during the intensive care unit (ICU) stay increases the risk of death in patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). We performed a retrospective study on a prospectively collected database including all patients consecutively admitted over a 3-year period with a diagnosis of TBI (post-resuscitation Glasgow Coma Score ≤ 8) to a general/neurotrauma ICU of a university hospital, providing critical care services in a catchment area of about 1,200,000 inhabitants.
Methods
Demographic, clinical, and ICU laboratory data were prospectively collected; serum sodium was assessed an average of three times per day. Hypernatremia was defined as two daily values of serum sodium above 145 mmol/l. The major outcome was death in the ICU after 14 days. Cox proportional-hazards regression models were used, with time-dependent variates designed to reflect exposure over time during the ICU stay: hypernatremia, desmopressin acetate (DDAVP) administration as a surrogate marker for the presence of central diabetes insipidus, and urinary output. The same models were adjusted for potential confounding factors.
Results
We included in the study 130 TBI patients (mean age 52 years (standard deviation 23); males 74%; median Glasgow Coma Score 3 (range 3 to 8); mean Simplified Acute Physiology Score II 50 (standard deviation 15)); all were mechanically ventilated; 35 (26.9%) died within 14 days after ICU admission. Hypernatremia was detected in 51.5% of the patients and in 15.9% of the 1,103 patient-day ICU follow-up. In most instances hypernatremia was mild (mean 150 mmol/l, interquartile range 148 to 152). The occurrence of hypernatremia was highest (P = 0.003) in patients with suspected central diabetes insipidus (25/130, 19.2%), a condition that was associated with increased severity of brain injury and ICU mortality. After adjustment for the baseline risk, the incidence of hypernatremia over the course of the ICU stay was significantly related with increased mortality (hazard ratio 3.00 (95% confidence interval: 1.34 to 6.51; P = 0.003)). However, DDAVP use modified this relation (P = 0.06), hypernatremia providing no additional prognostic information in the instances of suspected central diabetes insipidus.
Conclusions
Mild hypernatremia is associated with an increased risk of death in patients with severe TBI. In a proportion of the patients the association between hypernatremia and death is accounted for by the presence of central diabetes insipidus.
doi:10.1186/cc7953
PMCID: PMC2750153  PMID: 19583864
16.  Impact of non-neurological complications in severe traumatic brain injury outcome 
Critical Care  2012;16(2):R44.
Introduction
Non-neurological complications in patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) are frequent, worsening the prognosis, but the pathophysiology of systemic complications after TBI is unclear. The purpose of this study was to analyze non-neurological complications in patients with severe TBI admitted to the ICU, the impact of these complications on mortality, and their possible correlation with TBI severity.
Methods
An observational retrospective cohort study was conducted in one multidisciplinary ICU of a university hospital (35 beds); 224 consecutive adult patients with severe TBI (initial Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) < 9) admitted to the ICU were included. Neurological and non-neurological variables were recorded.
Results
Sepsis occurred in 75% of patients, respiratory infections in 68%, hypotension in 44%, severe respiratory failure (arterial oxygen pressure/oxygen inspired fraction ratio (PaO2/FiO2) < 200) in 41% and acute kidney injury (AKI) in 8%. The multivariate analysis showed that Glasgow Outcome Score (GOS) at one year was independently associated with age, initial GCS 3 to 5, worst Traumatic Coma Data Bank (TCDB) first computed tomography (CT) scan and the presence of intracranial hypertension but not AKI. Hospital mortality was independently associated with initial GSC 3 to 5, worst TCDB first CT scan, the presence of intracranial hypertension and AKI. The presence of AKI regardless of GCS multiplied risk of death 6.17 times (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.37 to 27.78) (P < 0.02), while ICU hypotension increased the risk of death in patients with initial scores of 3 to5 on the GCS 4.28 times (95% CI: 1.22 to15.07) (P < 0.05).
Conclusions
Low initial GCS, worst first CT scan, intracranial hypertension and AKI determined hospital mortality in severe TBI patients. Besides the direct effect of low GCS on mortality, this neurological condition also is associated with ICU hypotension which increases hospital mortality among patients with severe TBI. These findings add to previous studies that showed that non-neurological complications increase the length of stay and morbidity in the ICU but do not increase mortality, with the exception of AKI and hypotension in low GCS (3 to 5).
doi:10.1186/cc11243
PMCID: PMC3681369  PMID: 22410278
17.  Utility of bispectral index in the management of multiple trauma patients 
Background:
Bispectral index (BIS) monitoring in multiple trauma patients has become a common practice in monitoring the sedation levels. We aimed to assess the utility of BIS in the trauma intensive care unit (ICU).
Methods:
A prospective observational study was conducted in the trauma ICU at Hamad General Hospital in Qatar between 2011 and 2012. Patients were divided in two groups: Group I (without BIS monitoring) and Group II (with BIS monitoring). The depth of sedation was clinically evaluated with Ramsey Sedation Scale, changes in vital signs and Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) level. Use of sedatives, analgesics, and muscle relaxants were also recorded. Data were compared using Chi-square and Student t-tests.
Results:
A total of 110 mechanically ventilated trauma patients were enrolled with a mean age of 36 ± 14 years. The rate of head injury was greater in Group I when compared with Group II (94% vs. 81%, P = 0.04). In comparison to Group I, patients in Group II had lower GCS and higher mean Injury Severity Score (ISS) (6.3 ± 2.5 vs. 7.4 ± 2.7 and 25.5 ± 8.5 vs. 21.2 ± 4.7, respectively, P = 0.03). The used midazolam dose was less in Group II in comparison to Group I (5.2 ± 2.3 vs. 6.1 ± 2.1, P = 0.03). Also, fentanyl dose was less in Group II (152 ± 58 vs. 187 ± 59, P = 0.004). The rate of agitation, failure of extubation and tracheostomy in Group II were lower than those in Group I, P = 0.001. The length of stay for patients Group I was longer (14.6 ± 7.1 vs. 10.2 ± 5.9 days) in comparison to group II, P = 0.001.
Conclusion:
Management of multiple trauma patients in the trauma ICU with BIS monitoring was found to be associated with better outcomes. BIS monitoring is a guide for adjusting the dosage of sedative agents. It can also minimize agitation, failure of extubation, and length of stay in ICU.
doi:10.4103/2152-7806.141890
PMCID: PMC4192905  PMID: 25317356
Analgesia; bispectral index; head injury; sedation; trauma
18.  An Economic Evaluation of Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis Strategies in Critically Ill Trauma Patients at Risk of Bleeding 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(6):e1000098.
Using decision analysis, Henry Stelfox and colleagues estimate the cost-effectiveness of three venous thromboembolism prophylaxis strategies in patients with severe traumatic injuries who were also at risk for bleeding complications.
Background
Critically ill trauma patients with severe injuries are at high risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE) and bleeding simultaneously. Currently, the optimal VTE prophylaxis strategy is unknown for trauma patients with a contraindication to pharmacological prophylaxis because of a risk of bleeding.
Methods and Findings
Using decision analysis, we estimated the cost effectiveness of three VTE prophylaxis strategies—pneumatic compression devices (PCDs) and expectant management alone, serial Doppler ultrasound (SDU) screening, and prophylactic insertion of a vena cava filter (VCF)—in trauma patients admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) with severe injuries who were believed to have a contraindication to pharmacological prophylaxis for up to two weeks because of a risk of major bleeding. Data on the probability of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE), and on the effectiveness of the prophylactic strategies, were taken from observational and randomized controlled studies. The probabilities of in-hospital death, ICU and hospital discharge rates, and resource use were taken from a population-based cohort of trauma patients with severe injuries (injury severity scores >12) admitted to the ICU of a regional trauma centre. The incidence of DVT at 12 weeks was similar for the PCD (14.9%) and SDU (15.0%) strategies, but higher for the VCF (25.7%) strategy. Conversely, the incidence of PE at 12 weeks was highest in the PCD strategy (2.9%), followed by the SDU (1.5%) and VCF (0.3%) strategies. Expected mortality and quality-adjusted life years were nearly identical for all three management strategies. Expected health care costs at 12 weeks were Can$55,831 for the PCD strategy, Can$55,334 for the SDU screening strategy, and Can$57,377 for the VCF strategy, with similar trends noted over a lifetime analysis.
Conclusions
The attributable mortality due to PE in trauma patients with severe injuries is low relative to other causes of mortality. Prophylactic placement of VCF in patients at high risk of VTE who cannot receive pharmacological prophylaxis is expensive and associated with an increased risk of DVT. Compared to the other strategies, SDU screening was associated with better clinical outcomes and lower costs.
Please see later in the article for Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
For patients who have been seriously injured in an accident or a violent attack (trauma patients), venous thromboembolism (VTE)—the formation of blood clots that limit the flow of blood through the veins—is a frequent and potentially fatal complication. The commonest form of VTE is deep vein thrombosis (DVT). “Distal” DVTs (clots that form in deep veins below the knee) affect about half of patients with severe trauma; “proximal” DVTs (clots that form above the knee) develop in one in five trauma patients. DVTs cause pain and swelling in the affected leg and can leave patients with a painful condition called post-thrombotic syndrome. Worse still, part of the clot can break off and travel to the lungs where it can cause a life-threatening pulmonary embolism (PE). Distal DVTs rarely embolize but, if untreated, half of patients who present with a proximal DVT will develop a PE, and 2%–3% of them will die as a result.
Why Was This Study Done?
VTE is usually prevented by using heparin, a drug that stops blood clotting, but clinicians treating critically ill trauma patients have a dilemma. Many of these patients are at high risk of serious bleeding complications so cannot be given heparin to prevent VTE. Nonpharmacological ways to prevent VTE include the use of pneumatic compression devices to keep the blood moving in the legs (clots often form in patients confined to bed because of the sluggish blood flow in their legs), repeated screening for blood clots using Doppler ultrasound, and the insertion of a “vena cava filter” into the vein that takes blood from the legs to the heart. This last device catches blood clots before they reach the lungs but increases the risk of DVT. Unfortunately, no-one knows which VTE prevention strategy works best in trauma patients who cannot be given heparin. In this study, therefore, the researchers use decision analysis (the systematic evaluation of the most important factors affecting a decision) to estimate the costs and likely clinical outcomes of these strategies.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used cost and clinical data from patients admitted to a Canadian trauma center with severe head/neck and/or abdomen/pelvis injuries (patients with a high risk of bleeding complications likely to make heparin therapy dangerous for up to two weeks after the injury) to construct a Markov decision analysis model. They then fed published data on the chances of patients developing DVT or PE, and on the effectiveness of the three VTE prevention strategies, into the model to obtain estimates of the costs and clinical outcomes of the strategies at 12 weeks after the injury and over the patients' lifetime. The estimated incidence of DVT at 12 weeks was 15% for the pneumatic compression device and Doppler ultrasound strategies, but 25% for the vena cava filter strategy. By contrast, the estimated incidence of PE was 2.9% with the pneumatic compression device, 1.5% with Doppler ultrasound, but only 0.3% with the vena cava filter. The expected mortality with all three strategies was similar. Finally, the estimated health care costs per patient at 12 weeks were Can$55,334 and Can$55,831 for the Doppler ultrasound and pneumatic compression device strategies, respectively, but Can$57,377 for the vena cava filter strategy; similar trends were seen for lifetime health care costs.
What Do These Findings Mean?
As with all mathematical models, these findings depend on the data fed into the model and on the assumptions included in it. For example, because data from one Canadian trauma unit were used to construct the model, these findings may not be generalizable. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that, although VTE is common among patients with severe injuries, PE is not a major cause of death among these patients. They also suggest that the use of vena cava filters for VTE prevention in patients who cannot receive heparin should not be routinely used because it is expensive and increases the risk of DVT. Finally, these results suggest that, compared with the other strategies, serial Doppler ultrasound is associated with better clinical outcomes and lower costs.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000098.
The US National Heart Lung and Blood Institute provides information (including an animation) on deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism
MedlinePlus provides links to more information about deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism (in several languages)
The UK National Health Service Choices Web site has information on deep vein thrombosis and on embolism (in English and Spanish)
The Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma working group document Practice Management Guidelines for the Management of Venous Thromboembolism in Trauma Patients can be downloaded from the Internet
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000098
PMCID: PMC2695771  PMID: 19554085
19.  The BRAIN TRIAL: a randomised, placebo controlled trial of a Bradykinin B2 receptor antagonist (Anatibant) in patients with traumatic brain injury 
Trials  2009;10:109.
Background
Cerebral oedema is associated with significant neurological damage in patients with traumatic brain injury. Bradykinin is an inflammatory mediator that may contribute to cerebral oedema by increasing the permeability of the blood-brain barrier. We evaluated the safety and effectiveness of the non-peptide bradykinin B2 receptor antagonist Anatibant in the treatment of patients with traumatic brain injury. During the course of the trial, funding was withdrawn by the sponsor.
Methods
Adults with traumatic brain injury and a Glasgow Coma Scale score of 12 or less, who had a CT scan showing an intracranial abnormality consistent with trauma, and were within eight hours of their injury were randomly allocated to low, medium or high dose Anatibant or to placebo. Outcomes were Serious Adverse Events (SAE), mortality 15 days following injury and in-hospital morbidity assessed by the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), the Disability Rating Scale (DRS) and a modified version of the Oxford Handicap Scale (HIREOS).
Results
228 patients out of a planned sample size of 400 patients were randomised. The risk of experiencing one or more SAEs was 26.4% (43/163) in the combined Anatibant treated group, compared to 19.3% (11/57) in the placebo group (relative risk = 1.37; 95% CI 0·76 to 2·46). All cause mortality in the Anatibant treated group was 19% and in the placebo group 15.8% (relative risk 1.20, 95% CI 0.61 to 2.36). The mean GCS at discharge was 12.48 in the Anatibant treated group and 13.0 in the placebo group. Mean DRS was 11.18 Anatibant versus 9.73 placebo, and mean HIREOS was 3.94 Anatibant versus 3.54 placebo. The differences between the mean levels for GCS, DRS and HIREOS in the Anatibant and placebo groups, when adjusted for baseline GCS, showed a non-significant trend for worse outcomes in all three measures.
Conclusion
This trial did not reach the planned sample size of 400 patients and consequently, the study power to detect an increase in the risk of serious adverse events was reduced. This trial provides no reliable evidence of benefit or harm and a larger trial would be needed to establish safety and effectiveness.
Trial Registration
This study is registered as an International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial, number ISRCTN23625128.
doi:10.1186/1745-6215-10-109
PMCID: PMC2794266  PMID: 19958521
20.  Alcohol exposure and outcomes in trauma patients 
Objective
To determine the injury patterns, complications, and mortality after alcohol consumption in trauma patients.
Methods
The Trauma Registry at an American College of Surgeons (ACS) level I center was queried for all patients with a toxicology screen admitted between 1st January 2002 and 31st December 2005. Alcohol-positive (AP) patients were matched to control patients who had a completely negative screen (AN) using age, gender, mechanism, Injury Severity Score (ISS), head Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS), chest AIS, abdominal AIS, and extremity AIS. Injuries and outcomes were compared between the groups.
Results
As many as 5,317 patients had toxicology data, of which 471 (8.9%) had a positive alcohol screen (AP). A total of 386 AP patients were then matched to 386 control (AN) patients. The AP group had a significantly higher mortality than the AN group overall (23 vs. 13%; p < 0.001), and by ISS stratification: ISS < 16 (6 vs. 0.4%; p < 0.001), ISS 16–25 (53 vs. 28%; p = 0.01), and ISS > 25 (90 vs. 67%; p = 0.01). AP patients had a higher incidence of admission systolic blood pressure < 90 (18 vs. 10%; p < 0.001) and Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score ≤ 8 (25 vs. 17%; p = 0.002). AN patients had a significantly higher incidence of hemopneumothorax (11 vs. 7%; p = 0.03), while AP patients had a higher incidence of cardiac arrest (8 vs. 3%; p = 0.004). There was no difference in intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital length of stay.
Conclusion
In a mixed population of trauma patients, an AP screen is associated with an increased incidence of admission hypotension and depressed GCS score. In this case-matched study, alcohol exposure appeared to increase mortality after injury.
doi:10.1007/s00068-010-0038-5
PMCID: PMC3150794  PMID: 21837258
Alcohol; Injury; Trauma; Complications; Mortality
21.  Glasgow Coma Scale and Outcomes after Structural Traumatic Head Injury in Early Childhood 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e82245.
Objective
To assess the association of the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) with radiological evidence of head injury (the Abbreviated Injury Scale for the head region, AIS-HR) in young children hospitalized with traumatic head injury (THI), and the predictive value of GCS and AIS-HR scores for long-term impairment.
Methods
Our study involved a 10-year retrospective review of a database encompassing all patients admitted to Starship Children’s Hospital (Auckland, New Zealand, 2000–2010) with THI.
Results
We studied 619 children aged <5 years at the time of THI, with long-term outcome data available for 161 subjects. Both GCS and AIS-HR scores were predictive of length of intensive care unit and hospital stay (all p<0.001). GCS was correlated with AIS-HR (ρ=-0.46; p<0.001), although mild GCS scores (13–15) commonly under-estimated the severity of radiological injury: 42% of children with mild GCS scores had serious–critical THI (AIS-HR 3–5). Increasingly severe GCS or AIS-HR scores were both associated with a greater likelihood of long-term impairment (neurological disability, residual problems, and educational support). However, long-term impairment was also relatively common in children with mild GCS scores paired with structural THI more severe than a simple linear skull fracture.
Conclusion
Severe GCS scores will identify most cases of severe radiological injury in early childhood, and are good predictors of poor long-term outcome. However, young children admitted to hospital with structural THI and mild GCS scores have an appreciable risk of long-term disability, and also warrant long-term follow-up.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0082245
PMCID: PMC3846816  PMID: 24312648
22.  Phase Synchronization in Electroencephalographic Recordings Prognosticates Outcome in Paediatric Coma 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e94942.
Brain injury from trauma, cardiac arrest or stroke is the most important cause of death and acquired disability in the paediatric population. Due to the lifetime impact of brain injury, there is a need for methods to stratify patient risk and ultimately predict outcome. Early prognosis is fundamental to the implementation of interventions to improve recovery, but no clinical model as yet exists. Healthy physiology is associated with a relative high variability of physiologic signals in organ systems. This was first evaluated in heart rate variability research. Brain variability can be quantified through electroencephalographic (EEG) phase synchrony. We hypothesised that variability in brain signals from EEG recordings would correlate with patient outcome after brain injury. Lower variability in EEG phase synchronization, would be associated with poor patient prognosis. A retrospective study, spanning 10 years (2000–2010) analysed the scalp EEGs of children aged 1 month to 17 years in coma (Glasgow Coma Scale, GCS, <8) admitted to the paediatric critical care unit (PCCU) following brain injury from TBI, cardiac arrest or stroke. Phase synchrony of the EEGs was evaluated using the Hilbert transform and the variability of the phase synchrony calculated. Outcome was evaluated using the 6 point Paediatric Performance Category Score (PCPC) based on chart review at the time of hospital discharge. Outcome was dichotomized to good outcome (PCPC score 1 to 3) and poor outcome (PCPC score 4 to 6). Children who had a poor outcome following brain injury secondary to cardiac arrest, TBI or stroke, had a higher magnitude of synchrony (R index), a lower spatial complexity of the synchrony patterns and a lower temporal variability of the synchrony index values at 15 Hz when compared to those patients with a good outcome.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0094942
PMCID: PMC3994059  PMID: 24752289
23.  Head injury (moderate to severe) 
Clinical Evidence  2010;2010:1210.
Introduction
Head injury in young adults is often associated with motor vehicle accidents, violence, and sports injuries. In older adults it is often associated with falls. Severe head injury can lead to secondary brain damage from cerebral ischaemia resulting from hypotension, hypercapnia, and raised intracranial pressure. Severity of brain injury is assessed using the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS). While about one quarter of people with severe brain injury (GCS score less than 8) will make a good recovery, about one third will die, and one fifth will have severe disability or be in a vegetative state.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical question: What are the effects of interventions to reduce complications of moderate to severe head injury as defined by Glasgow Coma Scale? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to November 2009 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically, please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Results
We found 17 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria.
Conclusions
In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: antibiotics, anticonvulsants, corticosteroids, hyperventilation, hypothermia, and mannitol.
Key Points
Head injury in young adults is often associated with motor vehicle accidents, violence, and sports injuries. In older adults it is often associated with falls. This review covers only moderate to severe head injury. Severe head injury can lead to secondary brain damage from cerebral ischaemia resulting from hypotension, hypercapnia, and raised intracranial pressure.Poor outcome correlates with low post-resuscitation Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score, older age, eye pupil abnormalities, hypoxia or hypotension before definitive treatment, traumatic subarachnoid haemorrhage, and inability to control intracranial pressure.Severity of brain injury is assessed using the GCS. While about one quarter of people with severe brain injury (GCS score less than 8) will make a good recovery, about one third will die, and one fifth will have severe disability or be in a vegetative state.
There is no strong evidence of benefit from any treatment in reducing the complications of moderate to severe head injury. Despite this, most clinicians implement various combinations of treatments discussed here.
Hyperventilation and mannitol are frequently used to lower intracranial pressure. Anticonvulsants, barbiturates, antibiotics, and hypothermia are less commonly implemented. Evidence on hyperventilation, mild hypothermia, and mannitol has been inconclusive. Carbamazepine and phenytoin may reduce early seizures in people with head injury, but they have not been shown to reduce late seizures, neurological disability, or death.Barbiturates have not been shown to be effective in reducing intracranial pressure or in preventing adverse neurological outcomes after head injury.Prophylactic antibiotics have not been shown to reduce the risk of death or meningitis in people with skull fracture.
CAUTION: Corticosteroids have been shown to increase mortality when used acutely in people with head injury. One large RCT (the CRASH trial) found that death from all causes and severe disability at 6 months were more likely in people with head injury given methylprednisolone infusion than in those given placebo. Corticosteroids are no longer used in the treatment of head injuries.
PMCID: PMC3217652  PMID: 21418686
24.  Surgical management of traumatic extra dural hematoma in children: Experiences and analysis from 24 consecutively treated patients in a developing country 
Background:
Children with epidural hematoma (EDH) present differently than adults. The outcome of treatment is also different. We aim to report our experiences with EDH in pediatric age group in terms of mode of injury, presenting features, management, and outcomes. We also aim to identify different prognostic indicators in pediatric patients with EDH.
Methods:
We prospectively collected data from 24 consecutively surgically treated pediatric patients. The data collected included presenting features, radiological imaging, details of management, and outcomes. Descriptive analysis was performed and different variables were tested for any statistical significance with Glasgow Outcome Score (GOS).
Results:
There were 19 male and 5 female patients. The mean Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score at presentation was 9.3 ± 4.4. Falls were the most common cause of EDH. Outcome assessment was done at 3 month follow up. A total of 15 patients had a GOS score of 5, 4 patients had a GOS score of 4, 2 patients had a GOS score of 3, while 3 patients had a GOS score of 1. On univariate analysis, admitting GCS score, patient's age, the time from injury to admission and injury to surgery, anisocoric pupils at presentation and effacement of basal cisterns were significantly associated with the outcome of GOS score.
Conclusion:
Falls are the most common mode of injury leading to EDH in children. Lower GCS at presentation, younger age at trauma, increased time since trauma to surgery and admission, anisocoria and effacement of basal cisterns are statistically significant variables in surgically treated pediatric patients of EDH that confer a poorer prognosis. A timely surgical intervention can result in excellent outcomes.
doi:10.4103/2152-7806.116425
PMCID: PMC3766325  PMID: 24032078
Children; craniotomy; epidural hematoma; glasgow coma scale score; prognostic indicators; surgical management
25.  Impact of concomitant injuries on outcomes after traumatic brain injury 
Background
Patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) frequently have concomitant injuries; we aimed to investigate their impact on outcomes.
Methods
Between February 2002 and April 2010, 17 Austrian centers prospectively enrolled 863 patients with moderate and severe TBI into observational studies. Data on accident, treatment, and outcomes were collected. Patients who survived until intensive care unit (ICU) admission and had survivable TBI were selected, and were assigned to “isolated TBI” or “TBI + injury” groups. Six-month outcomes were classified as “favorable” if Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) scores were five or four, and were classified as “unfavorable” if GOS scores were three or less. Univariate statistics (Fisher’s exact test, t test, χ2-test) and logistic regression were used to identify factors associated with hospital mortality and unfavorable outcome.
Results
Of the 767 patients, 403 (52.5 %) had isolated TBI, 364 (47.5 %) had concomitant injuries. Patients with isolated TBI had higher mean age (53 vs. 44 years, P = 0.001); hospital mortality (30.0 vs. 27.2 %, P = 0.42) and rate of unfavorable outcome (50.4 vs. 41.8 %, P = 0.02) were higher, too. There were no significant mortality differences for factors like age groups, trauma mechanisms, neurologic status, CT findings, or treatment factors. Concomitant injuries were associated with higher mortality (33.3 vs. 12.5 %, P = 0.05) in patients with moderate TBI, and were significantly associated with more ventilation, ICU, and hospitals days. Logistic regression revealed that age, Glasgow Coma Scale score, pupillary reactivity, severity of TBI and CT score were the main factors that influenced outcomes.
Conclusions
Concomitant injuries have a significant effect upon the mortality of patients with moderate TBI. They do not affect the mortality in patients with severe TBI.
Level of evidence and study type
Evidence level 2; prospective, observational prognostic study.
doi:10.1007/s00402-013-1710-0
PMCID: PMC3631113  PMID: 23463257
Traumatic brain injury; Outcome; Concomitant injuries

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