Traumatic brain injury (TBI) remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. The purpose of this study is to examine outcomes after discharge and identify factors from the index admission that may contribute to long-term mortality.
The study population is composed of patients who survived to discharge from a previously published study examining TBI. Demographics, injury severity, and length of stay were abstracted from the index study. Phone surveys of surviving patients were performed to evaluate each patient’s Glasgow Outcome Scale-Extended (GOSE). Patients who were deceased at the time of the survey were compared with those who were alive.
1615 patients were alive at the end of the first study period and 211 (13%) comprised the study population. Overall, the median age was 54 years, and the majority were male (74%). The median time to follow-up was 80 months. The population was severely injured, with a median injury severity score (ISS) of 25 and a median head abbreviated injury score (AIS) of 4. Overall mortality was 57%. The group that survived at the time of the survey was younger, more injured, less likely to have received beta-blockers (BB) during the index admission, and had a longer time to follow-up. After adjusting for ISS, age, base deficit, and BB, age was the only variable predictive of mortality (HR 1.03; HL 1.02-1.04).
Despite being more severely injured, younger patients were more likely to survive to follow-up. Further investigation is needed to determine if aggressive care in older TBI patients in the acute phase leads to good long-term outcomes.