Southern African Journal of Anaesthesia and Analgesia

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Outcome of traumatic brain injury in the intensive care unit: a five-year review

K.U. Tobi, A.L. Azeez, S.O. Agbedia


Introduction: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major challenge in the intensive care unit (ICU) with a high mortality. In a recent study, severe TBI accounted for 14.3% of all ICU admissions with a mortality of 54.0%.

Methodology: This was a retrospective, case-control study of all cases of TBI admitted into the ICU during the study period. Data retrieved included socio-demographic parameters, causes of TBI, blood transfusion, length of stay and ICU outcome in terms of mortality.

Result: One hundred and eighty-two (182) TBI patients were admitted into the ICU, with a mean age of 34 ± 18.92 years. The male:female ratio was 3:1, but females had a better outcome with a p-value of 0.026. Patients who stayed between 1 and 7 days were > 4 times more likely to die in the ICU compared with those who stayed for more than 7 days. In addition, TBI patients who had blood transfusion had a better outcome (p = 0.004). Also, TBI patients who received ventilatory support had higher mortality compared with those who did no, (p = 0.006).

Conclusion: Patients with traumatic brain injury admitted to the intensive care unit have a high mortality. A review of the present line of management and strict compliance with guidelines of management may perhaps improve outcome.

Keywords: ICU, outcome, traumatic brain injury
AJOL African Journals Online