Epidemiology and 12-Month Outcomes From Traumatic Brain Injury in Australia and New Zealand

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Background:An epidemiologic profile of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in Australia and New Zealand was obtained following the publication of international evidence-based guidelines.Methods:Adult patients with TBI admitted to the intensive care units (ICU) of major trauma centers were studied in a 6-month prospective inception cohort study. Data including mechanisms of injury, prehospital interventions, secondary insults, operative and intensive care management, and outcome assessments 12-months postinjury were collected.Results:There were 635 patients recruited from 16 centers. The mean (±SD) age was 41.6 years ± 19.6 years; 74.2% were men; 61.4% were due to vehicular trauma, 24.9% were falls in elderly patients, and 57.2% had severe TBI (Glasgow Coma Scale score ≤8). Secondary brain insults were recorded in 28.5% and 34.8% underwent neurosurgical procedures before ICU admission. There was concordance with TBI and ICU practice guidelines, although intracranial pressure monitoring was used in 44.5% patients with severe TBI. Twelve-month mortality was 26.9% in all patients and 35.1% in patients with severe TBI. Favorable outcomes at 12 months were recorded in 58.8% of all patients and in 48.5% of patients with severe TBI.Conclusions:In Australia and New Zealand, mortality and favorable neurologic outcomes after TBI were similar to published data before the advent of evidence-based guidelines. A high incidence of prehospital secondary brain insults and an ageing population may have contributed to these outcomes. Strategies to improve outcomes from TBI should be directed at preventive public health strategies and interventions to minimize secondary brain injuries in the prehospital period.

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