Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) from traumatic and non traumatic causes is a leading cause of disability worldwide yet there is limited research summarizing the health system economic burden associated with ABI. The objective of this study was to determine the direct cost of publicly funded health care services from the initial hospitalization to three years post-injury for individuals with traumatic (TBI) and non-traumatic brain injury (nTBI) in Ontario Canada.
A population-based cohort of patients discharged from acute hospital with an ABI code in any diagnosis position in 2004 through 2007 in Ontario was identified from administrative data. Publicly funded health care utilization was obtained from several Ontario administrative healthcare databases. Patients were stratified according to traumatic and non-traumatic causes of brain injury and whether or not they were discharged to an inpatient rehabilitation center. Health system costs were calculated across a continuum of institutional and community settings for up to three years after initial discharge. The continuum of settings included acute care emergency departments inpatient rehabilitation (IR) complex continuing care home care services and physician visits. All costs were calculated retrospectively assuming the government payer’s perspective.
Direct medical costs in an ABI population are substantial with mean cost in the first year post-injury per TBI and nTBI patient being $32132 and $38018 respectively. Among both TBI and nTBI patients those discharged to IR had significantly higher treatment costs than those not discharged to IR across all institutional and community settings. This tendency remained during the entire three-year follow-up period. Annual medical costs of patients hospitalized with a brain injury in Ontario in the first follow-up year were approximately $120.7 million for TBI and $368.7 million for nTBI. Acute care cost accounted for 46-65% of the total treatment cost in the first year overwhelming all other cost components.
The main finding of this study is that direct medical costs in ABI population are substantial and vary considerably by the injury cause. Although most expenses occur in the first follow-up year ABI patients continue to use variety of medical services in the second and third year with emphasis shifting over time from acute care and inpatient rehabilitation towards homecare physician services and long-term institutional care. More research is needed to capture economic costs for ABI patients not admitted to acute care.
To estimate the association between ethnicity and discharge destination in older patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI).
A retrospective analysis.
Nationally representative sample of older patients from the Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation in 2002 and 2003.
Patients (N=9240) aged 65 years or older who received inpatient rehabilitation services for TBI.
Main Outcome Measures
Discharge destination (home, assisted living facility, institution) and ethnicity (white, black, Hispanic).
Multinomial logit models showed that older Hispanics (odds ratio [OR] = 2.24; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.66 –3.02) and older blacks (OR=2; 95% CI, 1.55–2.59) with TBI were significantly more likely to be discharged home than older whites with TBI, after adjusting for relevant risk factors. Older blacks were also 78% less likely (OR = .22; 95% CI, .08–.60) to be discharged to an assisted living facility than whites after adjusting for relevant risk factors.
Our findings indicate that older minority patients with TBI were significantly more likely to be discharged home than white patients with TBI. Studies are needed to investigate underlying factors associated with this ethnic difference.
Elderly; Ethnic groups; Head injuries; Rehabilitation
Headache is one of the most common persisting symptoms after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Yet there is a paucity of prospective longitudinal studies of the incidence and prevalence of headache in a sample with a range of injury severity. We sought to describe the natural history of headache in the first year after TBI, and to determine the roles of prior history of headache, sex, and severity of TBI as risk factors for post-traumatic headache. A cohort of 452 acute, consecutive patients admitted to inpatient rehabilitation services with TBI were enrolled during their inpatient rehabilitation from February 2008 to June 2009. Subjects were enrolled across 7 acute rehabilitation centers designated as TBI Model Systems centers. They were prospectively assessed by structured interviews prior to inpatient rehabilitation discharge, and at 3, 6, and 12 months after injury. Results of this natural history study suggest that 71% of participants reported headache during the first year after injury. The prevalence of headache remained high over the first year, with more than 41% of participants reporting headache at 3, 6, and 12 months post-injury. Persons with a pre-injury history of headache (p<0.001) and females (p<0.01) were significantly more likely to report headache. The incidence of headache had no relation to TBI severity (p=0.67). Overall, headache is common in the first year after TBI, independent of the severity of injury range examined in this study. Use of the International Classification of Headache Disorders criteria requiring onset of headache within 1 week of injury underestimates rates of post-traumatic headache. Better understanding of the natural history of headache including timing, type, and risk factors should aid in the design of treatment studies to prevent or reduce the chronicity of headache and its disruptive effects on quality of life.
headache; natural history; traumatic brain injury
After pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI), early prognosis of expected function is important for optimizing care. The power of several common brain injury severity measures for predicting functional outcome in children with TBI was investigated; the severity variables studied were Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score, time to follow commands (TFC), duration of post-traumatic amnesia (PTA), and total duration of impaired consciousness (TFC+PTA). Outcome was assessed using the Functional Independence Measure for Children (WeeFIM) at discharge from inpatient rehabilitation (n = 120) and, in a subset of children, at 3 months following discharge. Correlations and multiple linear regression analyses were conducted using GCS, TFC, PTA, and TFC+PTA to predict age-corrected WeeFIM scores. Models in which TFC and PTA duration were entered as separate variables and as a combined variable (TFC+PTA) were all significantly predictive of WeeFIM scores at discharge; however, TFC accounted for the greatest portion of variance in WeeFIM scores. Among children with moderate to severe TBI who received inpatient rehabilitation, TFC was the best predictor of general functional outcome at discharge and follow-up. Our findings highlight the need for careful and consistent assessment of TFC to assist in predicting functional outcomes as early and accurately as possible.
Traumatic brain injury; children; outcome; coma; post-traumatic amnesia
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) disproportionately impacts minority racial groups. However, limited information exists on TBI outcomes among Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders (NHPI). All patients with severe TBI (Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) <9) who were hospitalized at the state-designated trauma center in Hawai‘i from March 2006 to February 2011 were studied. The primary outcome measure was discharge Glasgow Outcome Scale ([GOS]: 1, death; 2, vegetative state; 3, severe disability; 4, moderate disability; 5, good recovery), which was dichotomized to unfavorable (GOS 1–2) and favorable (GOS 3–5). Logistic regression analyses were performed to assess factors predictive of discharge functional outcome. A total of 181 patients with severe TBI (NHPI 27%, Asians 25%, Whites 30%, and others 17%) were studied. NHPI had a higher prevalence of assault-related TBI (25% vs 6.5%, P = .046), higher prevalence of chronic drug abuse (20% vs 4%, P = .02) and chronic alcohol abuse (22% vs 2%, P = .003), and longer intensive care unit length of stay (15±10 days vs 11±9 days, P < .05) compared to Asians. NHPI had lower prevalence of unfavorable functional outcomes compared to Asians (33% vs 61%, P = .006) and Whites (33% vs 56%, P = .02). Logistic regression analyses showed that Asian race (OR, 6.41; 95% CI, 1.68–24.50) and White race (OR, 4.32; 95% CI, 1.27–14.62) are independently associated with unfavorable outcome compared to NHPI. Contrary to the hypothesis, NHPI with severe TBI have better discharge functional outcomes compared to other major racial groups.
Alternate-level-of-care (ALC) days represent hospital beds that are taken up by patients who would more appropriately be cared for in other settings. ALC days have been found to be costly and may result in worse functional outcomes, reduced motor skills and longer lengths of stay in rehabilitation. This study examines the factors that are associated with acute care ALC days among patients with acquired brain injury (ABI). We used the Discharge Abstract Database to identify patients with ABI using International Classification of Disease-10 codes. From fiscal years 2007/08 to 2009/10, 17.5% of patients with traumatic and 14% of patients with non-traumatic brain injury had at least one ALC day. Significant predictors include having a psychiatric co-morbidity, increasing age and length of stay in acute care. These findings can inform planning for care of people with ABI in a publicly funded healthcare system.
To compare the mobility status (admission and discharge status, in addition to change in status) between patients with stroke and traumatic brain injury (TBI) during inpatient rehabilitation and to determine the relationship between mobility status and outcome variables including length of stay.
Prospective study using a consecutive sample
Freestanding tertiary rehabilitation centre
A total of 210 stroke and traumatic brain injury patients consecutively admitted for inpatient rehabilitation.
Main Outcome Measures
Clinical Outcome Variable Scale, a 13 item scale of mobility status (measured on admission and discharge from inpatient rehabilitation) and rehabilitation length of stay.
With age and time since injury controlled in the model, the TBI group demonstrated a significantly higher mobility status on admission and discharge over the stroke group, but the change (improvement) in mobility status was not different. The admission mobility status accounted for 61% and 60% of variability of the discharge mobility status for the stroke and TBI groups, respectively. The admission mobility status accounted for 40% and 50% of the variability in rehabilitation length of stay for the stroke and TBI groups, respectively. Either the admission mobility status or the physical therapist’s prediction of the discharge status could be used to determine the actual discharge mobility status, although the physical therapist’s predictions were more accurate than using a statistical model.
The TBI group demonstrated a higher mobility status at admission and discharge from inpatient rehabilitation than the stroke group, however, the rate of improvement (improvement in mobility status per day) was not different between groups. Admission mobility status using the Clinical Outcome Variable Scale, was an excellent predictor of discharge mobility status and rehabilitation length of stay in stroke and TBI patients.
PMID: 11932849 CAMSID: cams2408
Brain Injuries; rehabilitation; outcome assessment
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) remains a leading cause of death and disability.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines
recommend transfer of severe TBI cases to neurosurgical centres,
irrespective of the need for neurosurgery. This observational study
investigated the risk-adjusted mortality of isolated TBI admissions in
England/Wales, and Victoria, Australia, and the impact of neurosurgical
centre management on outcomes.
Isolated TBI admissions (>15 years, July 2005–June 2006) were
extracted from the hospital discharge datasets for both jurisdictions.
Severe isolated TBI (AIS severity >3) admissions were provided by the
Trauma Audit and Research Network (TARN) and Victorian State Trauma Registry
(VSTR) for England/Wales, and Victoria, respectively. Multivariable logistic
regression was used to compare risk-adjusted mortality between
Mortality was 12% (749/6256) in England/Wales and 9% (91/1048)
in Victoria for isolated TBI admissions. Adjusted odds of death in
England/Wales were higher compared to Victoria overall (OR 2.0, 95%
CI: 1.6, 2.5), and for cases <65 years (OR 2.36, 95% CI: 1.51,
3.69). For severe TBI, mortality was 23% (133/575) for TARN and
20% (68/346) for VSTR, with 72% of TARN and 86% of VSTR
cases managed at a neurosurgical centre. The adjusted mortality odds for
severe TBI cases in TARN were higher compared to the VSTR (OR 1.45,
95% CI: 0.96, 2.19), but particularly for cases <65 years (OR
2.04, 95% CI: 1.07, 3.90). Neurosurgical centre management modified
the effect overall (OR 1.12, 95% CI: 0.73, 1.74) and for cases <65
years (OR 1.53, 95% CI: 0.77, 3.03).
The risk-adjusted odds of mortality for all isolated TBI admissions, and
severe TBI cases, were higher in England/Wales when compared to Victoria.
The lower percentage of cases managed at neurosurgical centres in England
and Wales was an explanatory factor, supporting the changes made to the NICE
Uncontrolled intracranial hypertension after traumatic brain injury (TBI) contributes significantly to the death rate and to poor functional outcome. There is no evidence that intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring alters the outcome of TBI. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that insertion of ICP monitors in patients who have TBI is not associated with a decrease in the death rate.
Study of case records.
The data files from the Ontario Trauma Registry from 1989 to 1995 were examined. Included were all cases with an Injury Severity Score (ISS) greater than 12 from the 14 trauma centres in Ontario. Cases identifying a Maximum Abbreviated Injury Scale score in the head region (MAIS head) greater than 3 were selected for further analysis. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to investigate the relationship between ICP and death.
Of 9001 registered cases of TBI, an MAIS head greater than 3 was recorded in 5507. Of these patients, 541 (66.8% male, mean age 34.1 years) had an ICP monitor inserted. Their average ISS was 33.4 and 71.7% survived. There was wide variation among the institutions in the rate of insertion of ICP monitors in these patients (ranging from 0.4% to over 20%). Univariate logistic regression indicated that increased MAIS head, ISS, penetrating trauma and the insertion of an ICP monitor were each associated with an increased death rate. However, multivariate analyses controlling for MAIS head, ISS and injury mechanism indicated that ICP monitoring was associated with significantly improved survival (p < 0.015).
ICP monitor insertion rates vary widely in Ontario’s trauma hospitals. The insertion of an ICP monitor is associated with a statistically significant decrease in death rate among patients with severe TBI. This finding strongly supports the need for a prospective randomized trial of management protocols, including ICP monitoring, in patients with severe TBI.
Systems of stroke care delivery have been promoted as a means of improving the quality of stroke care, but little is known about their effectiveness. We assessed the effect of the Ontario Stroke System, a province-wide strategy of regionalized stroke care delivery, on stroke care and outcomes in Ontario, Canada.
We used population-based provincial administrative databases to identify all emergency department visits and hospital admissions for acute stroke and transient ischemic attack from Jan. 1, 2001, to Dec. 31, 2010. Using piecewise regression analyses, we assessed the effect of the full implementation of the Ontario Stroke System in 2005 on the proportion of patients who received care at stroke centres, and on rates of discharge to long-term care facilities and 30-day mortality after stroke.
We included 243 287 visits by patients with acute stroke or transient ischemic attack. The full implementation of the Ontario Stroke System in 2005 was associated with an increase in rates of care at stroke centres (before implementation: 40.0%; after implementation: 46.5%), decreased rates of discharge to long-term care facilities (before implementation: 16.9%; after implementation: 14.8%) and decreased 30-day mortality for hemorrhagic (before implementation: 38.3%; after implementation: 34.4%) and ischemic stroke (before implementation: 16.3%; after implementation: 15.7%). The system’s implementation was also associated with marked increases in the proportion of patients who received neuroimaging, thrombolytic therapy, care in a stroke unit and antithrombotic therapy.
The implementation of an organized system of stroke care delivery was associated with improved processes of care and outcomes after stroke.
Obesity and its consequences affect patients with spinal cord injury (SCI). There is a paucity of data with regard to the dietary intake patterns of patients with SCI in the acute inpatient rehabilitation setting. Our hypothesis is that acute rehabilitation inpatients with SCI consume significantly more calories and protein than other inpatient rehabilitation diagnoses.
To compare calorie and protein intake in patients with new SCI versus other diagnoses (new traumatic brain injury [TBI], new stroke, and Parkinson’s disease [PD]) in the acute inpatient rehabilitation setting.
The intake of 78 acute rehabilitation inpatients was recorded by registered dieticians utilizing once-weekly calorie and protein intake calculations.
Mean ± SD calorie intake (kcal) for the SCI, TBI, stroke, and PD groups was 1,967.9 ± 611.6, 1,546.8 ± 352.3, 1,459.7 ± 443.2, and 1,459.4 ± 434.6, respectively. ANOVA revealed a significant overall group difference, F(3, 74) = 4.74, P = .004. Mean ± SD protein intake (g) for the SCI, TBI, stroke, and PD groups was 71.5 ± 25.0, 61.1 ± 12.8, 57.6 ± 16.6, and 55.1 ± 19.1, respectively. ANOVA did not reveal an overall group difference, F(3, 74) = 2.50, P = .066.
Given the diet-related comorbidities and energy balance abnormalities associated with SCI, combined with the intake levels demonstrated in this study, education with regard to appropriate calorie intake in patients with SCI should be given in the acute inpatient rehabilitation setting.
nutritional requirements; obesity; spinal cord injuries
Patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) frequently have concomitant injuries; we aimed to investigate their impact on outcomes.
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.
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.
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.
Traumatic brain injury; Outcome; Concomitant injuries
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the most common cause of traumatic death in infancy, and inflicted TBI (iTBI) is the predominant cause. Like other central nervous system pathologies, TBI changes the composition of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which may represent a unique clinical window on brain pathophysiology. Proteomic analysis, including two-dimensional (2-D) difference in gel electrophoresis (DIGE) combined with mass spectrometry (MS), was used to compare the CSF protein profile of two pooled samples from pediatric iTBI (n = 13) and non-inflicted TBI (nTBI; n = 13) patients with severe injury. CSF proteins from iTBI and nTBI were fluorescently labeled in triplicate using different fluorescent Cy dyes and separated by 2-D gel electrophoresis. Approximately 250 protein spots were found in CSF, with 90% between-gel reproducibility of the 2-D gel. Following in-gel digestion, the tryptic peptides were analyzed by MS for protein identification. The acute phase reactant, haptoglobin (HP) isoforms, showed an approximate fourfold increase in nTBI versus iTBI. In contrast, the levels of prostaglandin D2 synthase (PGDS) and cystatin C (CC) were 12-fold and sevenfold higher in iTBI versus nTBI, respectively. The changes of HP, PGDS, and CC were confirmed by Western blot. These initial results with conventional gel-based proteomics show new protein changes that may ultimately help to understand pathophysiological differences between iTBI and nTBI.
acute phase response; cerebrospinal fluid; child abuse; haptoglobin; mass spectrometry; shaken baby syndrome; two-dimensional gel electrophoresis
Longitudinal patterns of functional deficits were investigated in 37 children with severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI), 40 children with moderate TBI, and 44 children with orthopedic injuries (OI). They were from 6 to 12 years of age when injured. Their neuropsychological, behavioral, adaptive, and academic functioning was assessed at 6 months, 12 months, and 3-5 years post injury. Functional deficits (<10th percentile for age) were identified within each outcome domain at each occasion. Children were classified into four a priori longitudinal patterns of outcomes within domains (i.e., no deficits, improvement, deterioration, persistent deficits). In multinomial logistic regression analyses, severe TBI predicted an increased likelihood of persistent deficits in all outcome domains, as well as deterioration in behavioral functioning and improvement in neuropsychological, adaptive, and academic functioning. Severe TBI also predicted a greater total number of functional deficits across domains at each occasion. However, many children with severe TBI showed no deficits from 6 months to 4 years post injury in one or more outcome domains. The findings help to clarify the course of recovery for individual children following TBI.
Traumatic brain injury; children; functional deficits; outcomes
Identify factors related to long-term survival, and quantify their effect on mortality and life expectancy.
Model spinal cord injury systems of care across the United States.
Survival analysis of persons with traumatic spinal cord injury who are ventilator dependent at discharge from inpatient rehabilitation and who survive at least 1 year after injury.
Logistic regression analysis on a data set of 1,986 person-years occurring among 319 individuals injured from 1973 through 2003.
The key factors related to long-term survival were age, time since injury, neurologic level, and degree of completeness of injury. The life expectancies were modestly lower than previous estimates. Pneumonia and other respiratory conditions remain the leading cause of death but account for only 31% of deaths of known causes.
Whereas previous research has suggested a dramatic improvement in survival over the last few decades in this population, this is only the case during the critical first few years after injury. There was no evidence for such a trend in the subsequent period.
Spinal cord injuries; Model systems; Tetraplegia; Ventilator dependence; Mortality; Life expectancies; National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center
Return to work may be easily monitored as a surrogate of long-term functional outcome for benchmarking and performance improvement of trauma systems. We hypothesized that employment rates among survivors of traumatic brain injury (TBI) decrease following injury and remain depressed for an extended period of time. Data were obtained from a statewide surveillance system of 3522 TBI patients (aged >15 years) who were discharged alive from acute care hospitals and followed yearly using telephone interviews (1996–1999). The study population consisted of patients with severe TBI (head abbreviated injury score 3, 4, or 5) and complete follow-up for 3 years postinjury (n = 572). Patients were mostly young males (43 ± 19 years, 65% male) with blunt TBI (92%). The preinjury employment rate was 67%, which declined to 52% (P < 0.001) in the first year and slowly rose in subsequent years but never reached the preinjury level (54% in year 2, P < 0.001; 57% in year 3, P = 0.001). Increasing severity of TBI was associated with a lower employment rate. Patients who remained employed worked the same number of hours as they did before the injury (47.8 ± 10.5 hours). Female employment rates rose similar to rates for males. However, women who were employed full-time before TBI were more likely to work part-time after TBI than men (50% vs 24%, P < 0.001). In conclusion, survivors of severe injury do not attain preinjury employment levels for several years. Once validated in other studies, postinjury employment may be used as an indicator to monitor functional outcomes in trauma registries.
Objectives: While a growing number of studies provide evidence of neural and cognitive decline in traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivors during the post-acute stages of injury, there is limited research as of yet on environmental factors that may influence this decline. The purposes of this paper, therefore, are to (1) examine evidence that environmental enrichment (EE) can influence long-term outcome following TBI, and (2) examine the nature of post-acute environments, whether they vary in degree of EE, and what impact these variations have on outcomes.
Methods: We conducted a scoping review to identify studies on EE in animals and humans, and post-discharge experiences that relate to barriers to recovery.
Results: One hundred and twenty-three articles that met inclusion criteria demonstrated the benefits of EE on brain and behavior in healthy and brain-injured animals and humans. Nineteen papers on post-discharge experiences revealed that variables such as insurance coverage, financial, and social support, home therapy, and transition from hospital to home, can have an impact on clinical outcomes.
Conclusion: There is evidence to suggest that lack of EE, whether from lack of resources or limited ability to engage in such environments, may play a role in post-acute cognitive and neural decline. Maximizing EE in the post-acute stages of TBI may improve long-term outcomes for the individual, their family and society.
traumatic brain injury; environmental enrichment; post-acute decline; adult; moderate to severe; post-discharge; transition home
This study investigated characteristics and trends of hospitalized abuse-related traumatic brain injuries (TBI) treated at a large pediatric medical center in Wuhan, China during the past 10 years. De-identified hospital discharge data for patients 0–4 years old hospitalized at the Wuhan Medical Care Center for Women and Children were analyzed, and ICD-10 codes were used to identify cases of TBI. Medical notes provided by doctors in the medical record were used to identify TBI cases in which suspected child abuse was the cause. From 2002 to 2011, 3,061 pediatric TBI patients were hospitalized and 4.6% (140) of these cases were suspected child abuse-related. The majority of suspected child abuse cases involved children younger than 1 year of age (68.6%) and usually affected males (63.6%). Children with non-Abusive Head Trauma (AHT) were more likely to have full recovery outcome (68.4%, 95% CI: 66.6%–70.0%) than children with suspected AHT (44.3%, 95% CI: 36.1%–52.5%). The proportion of all childhood TBI attributable to abuse did not appear to have increased in the 10-year period at this medical center. This is the first comprehensive study highlighting the important role of suspected child abuse in causing TBIs among Chinese children. Child abuse as a major cause of TBIs among infants in China should be studied further, and there should be greater awareness of this important social and medical problem in China.
abusive head trauma; child abuse; children; China
Objective: To describe the emergency department (ED) management of isolated mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the USA and to examine variation in care across age and insurance types.
Methods: A secondary analysis of ED visits for isolated mild TBI in the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey 1998–2000 was performed. Mild TBI was defined by International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9) codes for skull fracture, concussion, intracranial injury (unspecified), and head injury (unspecified). Available ED care variables were analysed by patient age and insurance categories using multivariate logistic regression.
Results: The incidence of isolated mild TBI cases attending ED was 153 296 per year, or 56.4/100 000 people. Of the patients with isolated mild TBI, 44.3% underwent computed tomography, 23.9% underwent other non-extremity, non-chest x rays, 17.1% received wound care and 14.1% received intravenous fluids. However, only 43.8% had an assessment of pain. Of those with documented pain, only 45.5% received analgesics in the ED. Nearly 38% were discharged without recommendations for specific follow up. Several aspects of ED care varied by age but not by insurance type.
Conclusion: Substantial ED resources are devoted to the care of isolated mild TBI. The present study identified deficiencies in and variation around several important aspects of ED care. The development of guidelines specific for mild TBI could reduce variation and improve emergency care for this injury.
The aim of the present study was to assess the characteristics of long-stay inpatients in public and private Italian acute inpatient facilities, to identify risk factors and correlates of the long duration of hospital stay in these patients, and to identify possible barriers to alternative placements.
All patients in 130 Italian public and private psychiatric inpatient units who had been hospitalized for more than 3 months during a specific index period were assessed with standardized assessment instruments and compared to patients discharged during the same index period, but staying in hospital for less than 3 months (short-stay inpatients). Assessed domains included demographic, clinical, and treatment characteristics, as well as process of care. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify specific variables predicting inpatient long-stay status. Reasons for delaying patient discharge, as reported by treatment teams, were also analyzed.
No overall differences between long-stay and short-stay patients emerged in terms of symptom severity or diagnostic status. Admission to a private inpatient facility and display of violent behavior during hospital stay were the most powerful predictors of long-stay. Lack of housing and a shortage of community support were the reasons most commonly cited by treatment teams as barriers to discharge.
Extra-clinical factors are important determinants of prolonged hospitalization in acute inpatient settings.
To assess the prevalence of and risk factors for sleep disturbances in the acute post-traumatic brain injury (TBI) period.
Longitudinal, observational study.
Methods and procedures
Fifty-four first time closed-head injury patients were recruited and evaluated within 3 months after injury. Pre-injury and post-injury sleep disturbances were compared on the Medical Outcome Scale for Sleep. The subjects were also assessed on anxiety, depression, medical comorbidity and severity of TBI.
Main outcomes and results
Subjects were worse on most sleep measures after TBI compared to before TBI. Anxiety disorder secondary to TBI was the most consistent significant risk factor to be associated with worsening sleep status.
Anxiety is associated with sleep disturbances after TBI. Further studies need to be done to evaluate if this is a causal relationship.
Trauma; mood disorder; sleep
To develop evidence-based and expert-driven quality indicators for measuring variations in the structure and organization of acute inpatient rehabilitation for children after traumatic brain injury (TBI) and to survey centers across the United States to determine the degree of variation in care.
Quality indicators were developed using the RAND/UCLA modified Delphi method. Adherence to these indicators was determined from a survey of rehabilitation facilities.
Inpatient rehabilitation units in the United States.
A sample of rehabilitation programs identified using data from the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions, Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation, and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities yielded 74 inpatient units treating children with TBI. Survey respondents comprised 31 pediatric and 28 all-age units.
Main Outcome Measures
Variations in structure and organization of care among institutions providing acute inpatient rehabilitation for children with TBI.
Twelve indicators were developed. Pediatric inpatient rehabilitation units and units with higher volumes of children with TBI were more likely to have: a census of at least one child admitted with a TBI for at least 90% of the time; adequate specialized equipment; a classroom; a pediatric subspecialty trained medical director; and greater than 75% of therapists with pediatric training.
There were clinically and statistically significant variations in the structure and organization of acute pediatric rehabilitation based on the pediatric focus of the unit and volume of children with TBI.
brain injuries; rehabilitation; quality of care; outcome and process assessment; pediatrics
There is an increasing incidence of military traumatic brain injury (TBI), and similar injuries are seen in civilians in war zones or terrorist incidents. Indeed, blast-induced mild TBI has been referred to as the signature injury of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Assessment involves schemes that are common in civilcian practice but, in common with civilian TBI, takes little account of information available from modern imaging (particularly diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging) and emerging biomarkers. The efficient logistics of clinical care delivery in the field may have a role in optimizing outcome. Clinical care has much in common with civilian TBI, but intracranial pressure monitoring is not always available, and protocols need to be modified to take account of this. In addition, severe early oedema has led to increasing use of decompressive craniectomy, and blast TBI may be associated with a higher incidence of vasospasm and pseudoaneurysm formation. Visual and/or auditory deficits are common, and there is a significant risk of post-traumatic epilepsy. TBI is rarely an isolated finding in this setting, and persistent post-concussive symptoms are commonly associated with post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain, a constellation of findings that has been called the polytrauma clinical triad.
military; traumatic brain injury; blast injury; polytrauma triad; post-traumatic epilepsy; vasospasm
The aim of this study was to evaluate the prognostic value of optic nerve sheath diameter (ONSD) measured on the initial brain computed tomography (CT) scan for intensive care unit (ICU) mortality in severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients.
A prospective observational study of all severe TBI patients admitted to a neurosurgical ICU (over a 10-month period). Demographic and clinical data and brain CT scan results were recorded. ONSD for each eye was measured on the initial CT scan. The group of ICU survivors was compared to non-survivors. Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) was evaluated six months after ICU discharge.
Seventy-seven patients were included (age: 43 ± 18; 81% males; mean Injury Severity Score: 35 ± 15; ICU mortality: 28.5% (n = 22)). Mean ONSD on the initial brain CT scan was 7.8 ± 0.1 mm in non-survivors vs. 6.8 ± 0.1 mm in survivors (P < 0.001). The operative value of ONSD was a good predictor of mortality (area under the curve: 0.805). An ONSD cutoff ≥ 7.3 had a sensitivity of 86.4% and a specificity of 74.6% and was independently associated with mortality in this population (adjusted odds ratio 95% confidence interval: 22.7 (3.2 to 159.6), P = 0.002). There was a relationship between initial ONSD values and six-month GOS (P = 0.03).
ONSD measured on the initial brain CT scan is independently associated with ICU mortality rate (when ≥ 7.3 mm) in severe TBI patients.
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.
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.
Traumatic brain injury; Severe; Glasgow Coma Scale score; Glasgow Outcome Scale score; Long-term outcomes