Secondary injury in traumatic brain injury patients - A prospective Study
AbstractObjective. Secondary insults of hypotension and hypoxia significantly impact on outcome in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI). More than 4 hours' delay in evacuation of intracranial haematomas has been demonstrated to have an additional impact on outcome. The objective of this study was to document the incidence of these preventable secondary insults in patients admitted with moderate or severe brain injury.
Methodology. All moderate and severe head injury patients admitted to Groote Schuur Hospital over a 3-month period were studied prospectively. Data were obtained from ambulance dockets, referral letters, patient charts and attending medical staff. Preventable secondary insults (hypotension, hypoxia) and time delay to assessment and surgery were documented. Outcome was assessed using the Glasgow outcome scale (GOS) at discharge or outpatient follow-up.
Results. Ninety-six patients were studied. Forty-nine patients experienced at least one recorded preventable event of hypoxia or hypotension. Seventeen had an intracranial haematoma requiring evacuation. The mean time interval between injury and surgery was 455 minutes. No haematoma was evacuated within 4 hours of injury. Patients referred via a primary or secondary care facility experienced a mean additional delay of 70 minutes. These results demonstrated a significant incidence of secondary injury and delay to assessment and surgery. We believe that education and a raised awa reness of the impact of secondary insults may have a positive impact on TBI outcome in our referral area.
Copyright remains in the Author’s name. The work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial Works License. Authors are required to complete and sign an Author Agreement form that outlines Author and Publisher rights and terms of publication. The Agreement form should be uploaded along with other submissions files and any submission will be considered incomplete without it [forthcoming].
Material submitted for publication in the SAMJ is accepted provided it has not been published or submitted for publication elsewhere. Please inform the editorial team if the main findings of your paper have been presented at a conference and published in abstract form, to avoid copyright infringement. The SAMJ does not hold itself responsible for statements made by the authors.
Previously published images
If an image/figure has been previously published, permission to reproduce or alter it must be obtained by the authors from the original publisher and the figure legend must give full credit to the original source. This credit should be accompanied by a letter indicating that permission to reproduce the image has been granted to the author/s. This letter should be uploaded as a supplementary file during submission.