Head injury in the elderly - what are the outcomes of neurosurgical care?
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Epidemiological studies show that an increasing proportion of those presenting with head trauma are elderly. This study details the outcomes of elderly head trauma patients admitted to a regional UK neurosurgical unit.The notes and imaging were reviewed of all head injury patients aged ≥75 years, admitted from 01/01/2007 to 31/12/2010, including mortality data up to at least 2 years after discharge . Outcomes comprised death as an inpatient, by 30 days and 1 year post-discharge; Glasgow Outcome Score; discharge Glasgow Coma Score; recurrence; readmission; reoperation; and complication.263 patients were admitted: 26 with acute subdural haematoma (ASDH); 175 with chronic subdural haematoma (CSDH); and 46 with mixed subdural collections (ACSDH). Sixteen patients had other head injury diagnoses. ASDH cases had a significantly lower survival rate than those with CSDH or ACSDH: The odds of inpatient death for ASDH patients was 15.38 (vs CSDHs). For all SDHs, low ASA was an independent predictor of early death. Death at one year was predicted by head injury severity measured by admission GCS (p=0.028), long anaesthetic (p=0.002), and the presence of bilateral SDH (p=0.002). Unfavourable GOS (1-3) was predicted by age over 85y (p=0.029); larger depth of subdural (p<0.001); and presence of any complication (p=0.003). Those aged over 90 with presentation GCS under 10 all had poor outcomes.Most elderly patients admitted under neurosurgery after head injury have SDHs. Our results are better than many previously reported, however the rate of death for those with ASDH is still high.
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