Evaluation of the impact of the NICE head injury guidelines on inpatient mortality from traumatic brain injury: an interrupted time series analysis.
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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) head injury guidelines on deaths and hospital admissions caused by traumatic brain injury (TBI). SETTING: All hospitals in England between 1998 and 2017. PARTICIPANTS: Patients admitted to hospital or who died up to 30 days following hospital admission with International Classification of Diseases (ICD) coding indicating the reason for admission or death was TBI. INTERVENTION: An interrupted time series analysis was conducted with intervention points when each of the three guidelines was introduced. Analysis was stratified by guideline recommendation specific age groups (0-15, 16-64 and 65+). OUTCOME MEASURES: The monthly population mortality and admission rates for TBI. STUDY DESIGN: An interrupted time series analysis using complete Office of National Statistics cause of death data linked to hospital episode statistics for inpatient admissions in England. RESULTS: The monthly TBI mortality and admission rates in the 65+ age group increased from 0.5 to 1.5 and 10 to 30 per 100 000 population, respectively. The increasing mortality rate was unaffected by the introduction of any of the guidelines.The introduction of the second NICE head injury guideline was associated with a significant reduction in the monthly TBI mortality rate in the 16-64 age group (-0.005; 95% CI: -0.002 to -0.007).In the 0-15 age group the TBI mortality rate fell from around 0.05 to 0.01 per 100 000 population and this trend was unaffected by any guideline. CONCLUSION: The introduction of NICE head injury guidelines was associated with a reduced admitted TBI mortality rate after specialist care was recommended for severe TBI. The improvement was solely observed in patients aged 16-64 years.The cause of the observed increased admission and mortality rates in those 65+ and potential treatments for TBI in this age group require further investigation.
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