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1.  Isolated traumatic head injury in children: Analysis of 276 observations 
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.
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).
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.
PMCID: PMC3097575  PMID: 21633564
Acute head injury; children; intensive care unit; motor-vehicle crash; prognosis; trauma
2.  Glasgow Coma Scale score at intensive care unit discharge predicts the 1-year outcome of patients with severe traumatic brain injury 
To analyse the association between the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score at intensive care unit (ICU) discharge and the 1-year outcome of patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected observational data.
Between 01/2001 and 12/2005, 13 European centres enrolled 1,172 patients with severe TBI. Data on accident, treatment and outcomes were collected. According to the GCS score at ICU discharge, survivors were classified into four groups: GCS scores 3–6, 7–9, 10–12 and 13–15. Using the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS), 1-year outcomes were classified as “favourable” (scores 5, 4) or “unfavourable” (scores <4). Factors that may have contributed to outcomes were compared between groups and for favourable versus unfavourable outcomes within each group.
Main results
Of the 538 patients analysed, 308 (57 %) had GCS scores 13–15, 101 (19 %) had scores 10–12, 46 (9 %) had scores 7–9 and 83 (15 %) had scores 3–6 at ICU discharge. Factors significantly associated with these GCS scores included age, severity of trauma, neurological status (GCS, pupils) at admission and patency of the basal cisterns on the first computed tomography (CT) scan. Favourable outcome was achieved in 74 % of all patients; the rates were significantly different between GCS groups (93, 83, 37 and 10 %, respectively). Within each of the GCS groups, significant differences regarding age and trauma severity were found between patients with favourable versus unfavourable outcomes; neurological status at admission and CT findings were not relevant.
The GCS score at ICU discharge is a good predictor of 1-year outcome. Patients with a GCS score <10 at ICU discharge have a poor chance of favourable outcome.
PMCID: PMC3675268  PMID: 23762202
Traumatic brain injury; Severe; Glasgow Coma Scale score; Glasgow Outcome Scale score; Long-term outcomes
3.  Glasgow Coma Scale and Outcomes after Structural Traumatic Head Injury in Early Childhood 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e82245.
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.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3846816  PMID: 24312648
4.  Improved outcomes from the administration of progesterone for patients with acute severe traumatic brain injury: a randomized controlled trial 
Critical Care  2008;12(2):R61.
Severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been increasing with greater incidence of injuries from traffic or sporting accidents. Although there are a number of animal models of TBI using progesterone for head injury, the effects of progesterone on neurologic outcome of acute TBI patients remain unclear. The aim of the present clinical study was to assess the longer-term efficacy of progesterone on the improvement in neurologic outcome of patients with acute severe TBI.
A total of 159 patients who arrived within 8 hours of injury with a Glasgow Coma Score ≤ 8 were enrolled in the study. A prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of progesterone was conducted in the Neurotrauma Center of our teaching hospital. The patients were randomized to receive either progesterone or placebo. The primary endpoint was the Glasgow Outcome Scale score 3 months after brain injury. Secondary efficacy endpoints included the modified Functional Independence Measure score and mortality. In a follow-up protocol at 6 months, the Glasgow Outcome Scale and the modified Functional Independence Measure scores were again determined.
Of the 159 patients randomized, 82 received progesterone and 77 received placebo. The demographic characteristics, the mechanism of injury, and the time of treatment were compared for the two groups. After 3 months and 6 months of treatment, the dichotomized Glasgow Outcome Scale score analysis exhibited more favorable outcomes among the patients who were given progesterone compared with the control individuals (P = 0.034 and P = 0.048, respectively). The modified Functional Independence Measure scores in the progesterone group were higher than those in the placebo group at both 3-month and 6-month follow-up (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01). The mortality rate of the progesterone group was significantly lower than that of the placebo group at 6-month follow-up (P < 0.05). The mean intracranial pressure values 72 hours and 7 days after injury were lower in the progesterone group than in the placebo group, but there was no statistical significance between the two groups (P > 0.05). Instances of complications and adverse events associated with the administration of progesterone were not found.
Our data suggest that acute severe TBI patients with administration of progesterone hold improved neurologic outcomes for up to 6 months. These results provide information important for further large and multicenter clinical trials on progesterone as a promising neuroprotective drug.
Trial Registration
PMCID: PMC2447617  PMID: 18447940
5.  Case mix, outcomes and comparison of risk prediction models for admissions to adult, general and specialist critical care units for head injury: a secondary analysis of the ICNARC Case Mix Programme Database 
Critical Care  2006;10(Suppl 2):S2.
This report describes the case mix and outcome (mortality, intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital length of stay) for admissions to ICU for head injury and evaluates the predictive ability of five risk adjustment models.
A secondary analysis was conducted of data from the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre (ICNARC) Case Mix Programme, a high quality clinical database, of 374,594 admissions to 171 adult critical care units across England, Wales and Northern Ireland from 1995 to 2005. The discrimination and calibration of five risk prediction models, SAPS II, MPM II, APACHE II and III and the ICNARC model plus raw Glasgow Coma Score (GCS) were compared.
There were 11,021 admissions following traumatic brain injury identified (3% of all database admissions). Mortality in ICU was 23.5% and in-hospital was 33.5%. Median ICU and hospital lengths of stay were 3.2 and 24 days, respectively, for survivors and 1.6 and 3 days, respectively, for non-survivors. The ICNARC model, SAPS II and MPM II discriminated best between survivors and non-survivors and were better calibrated than raw GCS, APACHE II and III in 5,393 patients eligible for all models.
Traumatic brain injury requiring intensive care has a high mortality rate. Non-survivors have a short length of ICU and hospital stay. APACHE II and III have poorer calibration and discrimination than SAPS II, MPM II and the ICNARC model in traumatic brain injury; however, no model had perfect calibration.
PMCID: PMC3226136  PMID: 17352796
6.  Epidemiology of Pediatric Head Trauma in Guilan 
Archives of Trauma Research  2012;1(1):19-22.
Head injury (HI) is preventable and knowledge of the epidemiology of children's HI is essential for developing preventive strategies.
The aim of this study was to survey pediatric HI patients admitted to emergency wards at Poursina Hospital in Rasht, Iran, from 2009 to 2010, and to identify the cause of HI in these children.
Patients and Methods
In this retrospective study, all HI patients under the age of 18 who were admitted to emergency wards between March 2009 and March 2010 were enrolled in the study. Demographic, etiologic, and injury data were collected and a descriptive analysis was performed.
A total of 668 patients were included in this study. The mean age was 10.4 ± 5.3 years. The most frequent cause of HI was traffic accidents. The mean Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score was 14.5 ± 1.6. The ratio of boys to girls was approximately 3 to 1. The ratio of boys to girls increased with increasing age (P < 0.01). Moreover, an association was found between age at injury and etiology of HI as well as a significant association between age at injury and the place of event (P < 0.01).
The incidence of childhood HI due to traffic accidents is high (81% of pediatric trauma cases). Thus, motorcyclist education and improvement in traffic engineering for pedestrians and bicyclists should be included in prevention programs.
PMCID: PMC3955935
Epidemiology; Head Injuries; Pediatric Trauma; Traffic Accidents
7.  Matrix metalloproteinase 9 and cellular fibronectin plasma concentrations are predictors of the composite endpoint of length of stay and death in the intensive care unit after severe traumatic brain injury 
The relationship between severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) and blood levels of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) or cellular fibronectin (c-Fn) has never been reported. In this study, we aimed to assess whether plasma concentrations of MMP-9 and c-Fn could have predictive values for the composite endpoint of intensive care unit (ICU) length of stay (LOS) of survivors and mortality after severe TBI. Secondary outcomes were the state of consciousness measured with the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) of survivors at 14 days and Glasgow Outcome Scale Extended (GOSE) at 3 months.
Forty-nine patients with abbreviated injury scores of the head region ≥ 4 were included. Blood was sampled at 6, 12, 24 and 48 hours after injury. MMP-9 and c-Fn concentrations were measured by ELISA. The values of MMP-9 and c-Fn, and, for comparison, the value of the GCS on the field of the accident (fGCS), as predictors of the composite outcome of ICU LOS and death were assessed by logistic regression.
There was a linear relationship between maximal MMP-9 concentration, measured during the 6-12-hour period, and maximal c-Fn concentration, measured during the 24-48-hour period. The risk of staying longer than 9 days in the ICU or of dying was increased in patients with a maximal early MMP-9 concentration ≥ 21.6 ng/ml (OR = 5.0; 95% CI: 1.3 to 18.6; p = 0.02) or with a maximal late c-Fn concentration ≥ 7.7 μg/ml (OR = 5.4; 95% CI: 1.4 to 20.8; p = 0.01). A similar risk association was observed with fGCS ≤8 (OR, 4.4; 95% CI, 1.2-15.8; p = 0.02). No relationship was observed between MMP-9, c-Fn concentrations or fGCS and the GCS at 14 days of survivors and GOSE at 3 months.
Plasma MMP-9 and c-Fn concentrations in the first 48 hours after injury are predictive for the composite endpoint of ICU LOS and death after severe TBI but not for consciousness at 14 days and outcome at 3 months.
PMCID: PMC3570325  PMID: 23249478
Head injury; Prediction; Outcome; Plasmatic biomarker
8.  One year outcome in mild to moderate head injury: the predictive value of acute injury characteristics related to complaints and return to work 
OBJECTIVES—To determine the prognostic value of characteristics of acute injury and duration of post-traumatic amnesia (PTA) for long term outcome in patients with mild to moderate head injury in terms of complaints and return to work.
METHODS—Patients with a Glasgow coma score (GCS) on admission of 9-14 were included. Post-traumatic amnesia was assessed prospectively. Follow up was performed at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after injury. Outcome was determined by the Glasgow outcome scale (GOS) 1 year after injury and compared with a more detailed outcome scale (DOS) comprising cognitive and neurobehavioural aspects.
RESULTS—Sixty seven patients were included, mean age 33.2 (SD 14.7) years and mean PTA 7.8 (SD 7.3) days. One year after injury, 73% of patients had resumed previous work although most (84%) still reported complaints. The most frequent complaints were headache (32%), irritability (34%), forgetfulness and poor concentration (42%), and fatigue (45%). According to the GOS good recovery (82%) or moderate disability (18%) was seen. Application of the DOS showed more cognitive (40%) and behavioural problems (48%), interfering with return to work. Correlation between the GOS and DOS was high (r=0.87, p<0.01). Outcome correlated with duration of PTA (r=−0.46) but not significantly with GCS on admission (r=0.19). In multiple regression analysis, PTA and the number of complaints 3 months after injury explained 49% of variance on outcome as assessed with the GOS, and 60% with the DOS.
CONCLUSIONS—In mild to moderate head injury outcome is determined by duration of PTA and not by GCS on admission. Most patients return to work despite having complaints. The application of a more detailed outcome scale will increase accuracy in predicting outcome in this category of patients with head injury.

PMCID: PMC1736194  PMID: 10071101
9.  Early tracheostomy in intensive care trauma patients improves resource utilization: a cohort study and literature review 
Critical Care  2004;8(5):R347-R352.
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.
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.
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).
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.
PMCID: PMC1065024  PMID: 15469579
intensive care; mechanical ventilation; resource utilization; Saudi Arabia; trauma; tracheostomy; weaning
10.  Pre-injury polypharmacy as a predictor of outcomes in trauma patients 
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.
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).
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.
PMCID: PMC3249840  PMID: 22229132
Comorbid conditions; outcome prediction; polypharmacy; trauma outcomes
11.  Functional outcome following rehabilitation in chronic severe traumatic brain injury patients: A prospective study 
The objective was to assess functional outcome of rehabilitation in chronic severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) in-patients.
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.
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).
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.
PMCID: PMC3345588  PMID: 22566725
Functional outcome; inpatient rehabilitation; severe traumatic brain injury
12.  Our Experience with Surgically Treated Epidural Hematomas in Children 
Traumatic epidural hematomas (EDHs) in children are a relatively unusual occurrence. The cause and outcome vary depending on period and region of study. The aims of this analysis were to review the cause and outcome of pediatric EDHs nowadays and to discuss outcome-related variables in a large consecutive series of surgically treated EDH in children.
This is a retrospective review of 29 patients with surgically treated EDHs between Jan 2000 and February 2010. Patients' medical records, computed tomographic (CT) scans, and, if performed, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were reviewed to define variables associated with outcome. Variables included in the analysis were age, associated severe extracranial injury, abnormal pupillary response, hematoma thickness, severity of head injury (Glasgow Coma Scale score), parenchymal brain injury, and diffuse axonal injury.
The mean (SD) age of the patients was 109 months (0-185 months). Most of the injuries with EDHs occurred in traffic accident (14 cases, 48.2%) and followed by slip down in 6 cases and falls in 6 cases. There were one birth injury and one unknown cause. EDHs in traffic accidents occurred in pedestrians hit by a motor vehicle, 9 cases; motorbike and car accidents, 5 cases and bicycle accidents, 1 case. The locations of hematoma were almost same in both sides (left side in 15 cases). Temporal lobe is the most common site of hematomas (13 cases, 44%). The mean size of the EDHs was 18 mm (range, 5-40 mm). Heterogeneous hematomas in CT scans were 20 cases (67%). Two patients were referred with unilateral or bilateral dilated pupil(s). There was enlargement of EDH in 5 patients (17%). All of them were heterogeneous hematomas in CT scans. Except for 4 patients, all EDHs were associated with skull fracture(s) (87%). There was no case of patient with major organ injury. CT or MRI revealed brain contusion in 5 patients, and diffuse axonal injury in one patient. The mortality was zero, and the outcomes were excellent in 26 and good in 2 patients. None of the tested variables were found to have a prognostic relevance.
Regardless of the EDH size, the clinical status of the patients, the abnormal pupillary findings, or the cause of injury, the outcome and prognosis of the patients with EDH were excellent.
PMCID: PMC3377878  PMID: 22737301
Traumatic epidural hematomas (EDHs); Children; Cause; Outcome
13.  Factors Influencing Outcome of Head Injury Patients at A Tertiary Care Teaching Hospital in India 
Trauma is the most common cause of morbidity and mortality in people younger than 45 years and head injury is mostly highly weighted predictor of outcome in trauma population, anything than can improve the outcome from severe head injury has the potential of improving the lives of many accident victims.
A study regarding factors influencing outcome of traumatic brain injury patients was conducted at a tertiary care hospital of Srinagar (India). The basic predictors in this study included age, sex, rural/urban, time taken from site of trauma to arrival at hospital, mode of transportation, referral from other hospitals, referral to other hospitals, and Glasgow Coma Scale.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) patients (n 547) were taken prospectively by simple random sampling method for a period of one year (2004) for this study.
Majority of patients belonged to age group 0 to 10 years (25.5%) and a maximum death (8) were seen in age group 51 to 60 years. Maximum number of patients were males (75.9%) and (71.1%) TBI patients were from rural areas. (26.7%) reached this hospital within a period of one hour. (66%) were shifted through ambulance service. 6.4% expired after treatment.
Factors responsible for improved outcome in severe head injury patients are improvement in early recognition, resuscitation and triage, coupled with prompt computed tomography (CT) scanning and aggressive surgical management.
PMCID: PMC3068782  PMID: 21475512
14.  Illness perceptions and outcome in mild head injury: a longitudinal study 
A range of neuropathological and psychosocial factors have been implicated in the aetiology and maintenance of post‐concussional syndrome (PCS), with a growing consensus in the literature that this is a complex, multifactorial condition. The role of patients' perceptions in PCS has not been examined to date.
This longitudinal study examines the role of illness perceptions in predicting outcome following mild head injury, controlling for severity of injury, post‐traumatic stress symptoms, anxiety and depression, using a logistic regression analysis.
73 patients were admitted to an accident and emergency department with mild head injury (Glasgow Coma Scale score 13–15; loss of consciousness <20 min; post‐traumatic amnesia <24 h). Data on PCS symptomatology, illness perceptions, post‐traumatic stress symptoms, anxiety and depression were collected after the injury and at the 3 month follow‐up. Logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate predictors of outcome.
Following a mild head injury, symptomatic patients who believe that their symptoms have serious negative consequences on their lives and will continue to do so, are at heightened risk of experiencing significant enduring post‐concussional symptoms (p<0.001). Adding measures of severity of injury, post‐traumatic stress symptoms, anxiety and depression to the regression model did not improve prediction of outcome.
Whatever other physical or psychological factors may be involved, patients' perceptions of their illness early after head injury play a part in the persistence of PCS.
PMCID: PMC2077969  PMID: 17507448
15.  The relation between the incidence of hypernatremia and mortality in patients with severe traumatic brain injury 
Critical Care  2009;13(4):R110.
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.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC2750153  PMID: 19583864
16.  Geriatric Traumatic Brain Injury in China 
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in China. The elderly population has the higher rates of TBI-related hospitalization and death. Traffic accidents are the major cause for TBI in all age groups except in the group of 75 years and older, in which stumbles occurred in nearly half of those who suffered TBI. Older age is known to negatively influence outcome after TBI. To date, investigators have identified a panel of prognostic factors that include initial Glasgow Coma Scale score, comorbidities, cerebrospinal fluid leakage, associated extracranial lesions, and other factors such as cerebral perfusion pressure on recovery after injury. However, these aspects remain understudied in elderly patients with TBI. In the absence of complete clinical data, predicting outcomes and providing good care of the elderly population with TBI remain limited. To address this significant public health issue, a refocusing of research efforts is justified to prevent TBI in this population and to develop unique care strategies for achieving better clinical outcomes of the patients with TBI.
PMCID: PMC3758510  PMID: 24014155
Traumatic brain injury; Geriatric; Trauma; Injury; Epidemiology; Outcomes
17.  Multiple trauma in children: predicting outcome and long-term results 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2002;45(2):126-131.
To analyze the management of pediatric trauma and the efficacy of the Pediatric Trauma Score (PTS) in classifying injury severity and predicting prognosis.
A retrospective case series.
The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, a major pediatric trauma centre.
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.
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.
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.
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
18.  Venous thromboembolic events in isolated severe traumatic brain injury 
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of prophylactic anticoagulation on the incidence of venous thromboembolic events (VTE) in patients suffering from isolated severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Materials and Methods:
Retrospective matched case-control study in adult patients sustaining isolated severe TBI (head AIS ≥3, with extracranial AIS ≤2) receiving VTE prophylaxis while in the surgical intensive care unit from 1/2007 through 12/2009. Patients subjected to VTE prophylaxis were matched 1:1 by age, gender, glasgow coma scale (GCS) score at admission, presence of hypotension on admission, injury severity score, and head abbreviated injury scale (AIS) score, with patients who did not receive chemical VTE prophylaxis. The primary outcome measure was VTE. Secondary outcomes were SICU and hospital length of stay (HLOS), adverse effects of anticoagulation, and mortality.
After propensity matching, 37 matched pairs were analysed. Cases and controls had similar demographics, injury characteristics, rate of craniotomies/craniectomies, SICU LOS, and HLOS. The median time of commencement of VTE prophylaxis was 10 days. The incidence of VTE was increased 3.5-fold in the controls compared to the cases (95% CI 1.0-12.1, P=0.002). The mortality was higher in patients who did not receive anticoagulation (19% vs. 5%, P=0.001). No adverse outcomes were detected in the anticoagulated patients.
Prophylactic anticoagulation decreases the overall risk for clinically significant VTE in patients with severe isolated TBI. Prospective validation of the timing and safety of chemical VTE prophylaxis in these instances is warranted.
PMCID: PMC3299146  PMID: 22416148
Anticoagulation; isolated severe head injury; mortality; traumatic brain injury; venous thromboembolic event
19.  Hypothermia and Rapid Rewarming Is Associated With Worse Outcome Following Traumatic Brain Injury 
The purpose of the present study was to determine (1) the prevalence and degree of hypothermia in patients on emergency department admission and (2) the effect of hypothermia and rate of rewarming on patient outcomes.
Secondary data analysis was conducted on patients admitted to a level I trauma center following severe traumatic brain injury (n = 147). Patients were grouped according to temperature on admission according to hypothermia status and rate of rewarming (rapid or slow). Regression analyses were performed.
Hypothermic patients were more likely to have lower postresuscitation Glasgow Coma Scale scores and a higher initial injury severity score. Hypothermia on admission was correlated with longer intensive care unit stays, a lower Glasgow Coma Scale score at discharge, higher mortality rate, and lower Glasgow outcome score–extended scores up to 6 months postinjury (P < .05). When controlling for other factors, rewarming rates more than 0.25°C/h were associated with lower Glasgow Coma Scale scores at discharge, longer intensive care unit length of stay, and higher mortality rate than patients rewarmed more slowly although these did not reach statistical significance.
Hypothermia on admission is correlated with worse outcomes in brain-injured patients. Patients with traumatic brain injury who are rapidly rewarmed may be more likely to have worse outcomes. Trauma protocols may need to be reexamined to include controlled rewarming at rates 0.25°C/h or less.
PMCID: PMC3556902  PMID: 21157248
Complications; Function; Head injury; Length of stay; Mortality
20.  Post-traumatic epilepsy in children requiring inpatient rehabilitation following head injury 
Methods: The hospital and community medical case notes of all children admitted prospectively to the unit and the records of the clinical EEG department over a seven year period were reviewed to identify those children who had developed late epilepsy after head injuries.
Results: 102 children received inpatient rehabilitation between 1 June 1991 and 28 February 1998. Follow up of these patients ranged from 18 months to over eight years. Nine patients (9%) developed post-traumatic epilepsy between eight months and over five years after the head injury. Three of the nine patients had experienced early tonic–clonic seizures in the first week after the injury. Other risk factors examined included the age of the patient, the cause of the head injury, initial Glasgow coma scale score, neuroimaging findings, and duration of ventilatory support. Only the presence of early seizures (p = 0.002) and possibly the Glasgow coma scale score (p = 0.043) were found to be specific risk factors for late late epilepsy.
Conclusions: Post-traumatic epilepsy appears to be uncommon, even in children with severe head injuries. Early seizures may indicate increased risk of developing late post-traumatic epilepsy in this study population.
PMCID: PMC1737888  PMID: 11971063
21.  Ventilator-associated pneumonia in trauma patients with open tracheotomy: Predictive factors and prognosis impact 
To assess the predictive factors of ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) occurrence following open tracheotomy in trauma patients.
Materials and Methods:
We conducted an observational, prospective study over 15 months, between 01/08/2010 and 30/11/2011. All trauma patients (except those with cervical spine trauma), older than 15 years, undergoing open tracheotomy during their ICU stay were included. All episode of VAP following tracheotomy were recorded. Predictive factor of VAP onset were studied.
We included 106 patients. Mean age was 37.9 ± 15.5 years. Mean Glasgow coma Scale (GCS) was 8.5 ± 3.7 and mean Injury Severity Score (ISS) was 53.1 ± 23.8. Tracheotomy was performed for 53 patients (50%) because of prolonged ventilation whereas 83 patients (78.3%) had tracheotomy because of projected long mechanical ventilation. Tracheotomy was performed within 8.6 ± 5.3 days. Immediate complications were bleeding events (22.6%) and barotrauma (0.9%). Late complications were stomal infection (28.3%) and VAP (52.8%). In multivariate analysis, independent factors predicting VAP onset were delayed tracheotomy (OR = 0.041; CI95% [1.02-7.87]; P = 0.041) and stomal infection (OR = 3.04; CI95% [1.02-9.93]; P = 0.045). Thirty three patients died in ICU (31.1%) without significant impact of VAP on mortality.
Late tracheotomy and stomal infection are independent factors predicting VAP onset after open tracheotomy in trauma patients. The occurrence of VAP prolongers mechanical ventilation duration and intensive care unit (ICU) length of stay (LOS) but doesn’t increase mortality.
PMCID: PMC3841530  PMID: 24339656
Multiple trauma; prognosis; tracheotomy; ventilator associated pneumonia
22.  The Influence of Definition and Location of Hypotension on Outcome Following Severe Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury 
Critical care medicine  2005;33(11):2645-2650.
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).
Retrospective Cohort study.
Harborview Medical Center (level I pediatric trauma center), Seattle, WA over a 5 year period between 1998–2003.
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.
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).
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
23.  Disability in young people and adults one year after head injury: prospective cohort study 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2000;320(7250):1631-1635.
To determine the frequency of disability in young people and adults admitted to hospital with a head injury and to estimate the annual incidence in the community.
Prospective, hospital based cohort study, with one year follow up of sample stratified by coma score.
Five acute hospitals in Glasgow.
2962 patients (aged 14 years or more) with head injury; 549 (71%) of the 769 patients selected for follow up participated.
Main outcome measures
Glasgow outcome scale and problem orientated questionnaire.
Survival with moderate or severe disability was common after mild head injury (47%, 95% confidence interval 42% to 52%) and similar to that after moderate (45%, 35% to 56%) or severe injury (48%, 36% to 60%). By extrapolation from the population identified (90% of whom had mild injuries), it was estimated that annually in Glasgow (population 909 498) 1400 young people and adults are still disabled one year after head injury.
The incidence of disability in young people and adults admitted with a head injury is higher than expected. This reflects the high rate of sequelae previously unrecognised in the large number of patients admitted to hospital with an apparently mild head injury.
PMCID: PMC27407  PMID: 10856063
24.  Prognostic Factors of Severe Traumatic Brain Injury Outcome in Children Aged 2–16 Years at A Major Neurosurgical Referral Centre 
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in children has been poorly studied, and the literature is limited. We evaluated 146 children with severe TBI (coma score less than 8) in an attempt to establish the prognostic factors of severe TBI in children.
The severity of TBI was assessed via modified Glasgow Coma Score for those more than 3 years old and via Children Coma Score for those under 3 years old. Clinical presentations, laboratory parameters and features of Computerised Tomography brain scans were analyzed. Outcomes were assessed at 6 months with the Pediatric Cerebral Performance Categories Scale; the outcomes were categorised as good or poor outcomes. Correlations with outcome were evaluated using univariate and multivariate logistic models.
A low coma score upon admission was independently associated with poor outcome. The presence of diabetes insipidus within 3 days post-TBI (OR: 1.9), hyperglycaemia (OR: 1.2), prolonged PT ratio (OR: 2.3) and leukocytosis (OR: 1.1) were associated with poorer outcome.
Knowledge of these prognostic factors helps neurosurgeons and neurocritical care specialists to manage and improve outcome in severe TBI in children.
PMCID: PMC3216137  PMID: 22135509
severe traumatic brain injury (TBI); children; prognostic factors; Pediatric Cerebral Performance Categories Score; neurosciences
25.  Retrospective review of injury severity, interventions and outcomes among helicopter and nonhelicopter transport patients at a Level 1 urban trauma centre 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2014;57(1):49-54.
Air ambulance transport for injured patients is vitally important given increasing patient volumes, the limited number of trauma centres and inadequate subspecialty coverage in nontrauma hospitals. Air ambulance services have been shown to improve patient outcomes compared with ground transport in select circumstances. Our primary goal was to compare injuries, interventions and outcomes in patients transported by helicopter versus nonhelicopter transport.
We performed a retrospective 10-year review of 14 440 patients transported to an urban Level 1 trauma centre by helicopter or by other means. We compared injury severity, interventions and mortality between the groups.
Patients transported by helicopter had higher median injury severity scores (ISS), regardless of penetrating or blunt injury, and were more likely to have Glasgow Coma Scale scores less than 8, require airway control, receive blood transfusions and require admission to the intensive care unit or operating room than patients transported by other means. Helicopter transport was associated with reduced overall mortality (odds ratio 0.41, 95% confidence interval 0.33–0.39). Patients transported by other methods were more likely to die in the emergency department. The mean ISS, regardless of transport method, rose from 12.3 to 15.1 (p = 0.011) during our study period.
Patients transported by helicopter to an urban trauma centre were more severely injured, required more interventions and had improved survival than those arriving by other means of transport.
PMCID: PMC3908996  PMID: 24461227

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