Outcome of traumatic brain injuries in 1,508 patients: impact of prehospital care

J Neurotrauma. 2002 Jul;19(7):855-68. doi: 10.1089/08977150260190447.


This article describes the outcome of 1,508 patients with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) treated in a single neurosurgical unit over an 8-year period. Our aim has been to compare those outcomes with our previous results and with other large patient series. Another important goal was to evaluate the effect of the introduction of a 4-year ongoing study initiated in January 1993 using a new strategy of prehospital care on postresuscitation Glasgow Coma Score (GCS) and Glasgow Outcome Score (GOS). Results from the 1,508 patients showed good recovery or moderate disability in 69%, severe disability or vegetative state in 11%, and a mortality rate of 20%. When outcome of the most severely injured patients (GCS < or = 8) was compared with those of our previous and other large international patient series, more favorable outcome figures were shown in the present study. To evaluate the impact of the improved prehospital care after half of the study period, a logistic regression analysis showed after January 1993 a significantly increased expected odds/ratio for a postresuscitation GCS 8-15 rather than a GCS 3-4 (odds/ratio: 2.2; p < 0.001). For patients with postresuscitation GCS 5-7 and 8-15, the expected odds/ratio for a GOS 4-5 instead of GOS 1 increased significantly (odds/ratio: 2.2 and 1.7, respectively; p < 0.05-0.01). For patients with GCS 3-4, an increased expected odds/ratio (2.0; p < 0.05) for a GOS 2-3 rather than a GOS 1 was seen. The principal conclusion is that outcome for the severely injured patients in the present study is more favorable than in other large series of TBI. We posit that the introduction of effective prehospital care most likely contributed to the improved postresuscitation neurological status and consequently to the better outcome observed after January 1993.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Brain Injuries / classification
  • Brain Injuries / diagnosis
  • Brain Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Brain Injuries / therapy*
  • Coma / diagnosis
  • Coma / epidemiology
  • Coma / therapy
  • Emergency Medical Services* / methods
  • Emergency Medical Services* / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Glasgow Outcome Scale / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Resuscitation / methods
  • Resuscitation / statistics & numerical data
  • Sex Distribution
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Unconsciousness / diagnosis
  • Unconsciousness / epidemiology
  • Unconsciousness / therapy