Background: Recent literature on elderly patients with traumatic intracranial hemorrhage receiving preinjury antiplatelet agents shows a mortality rate of 47%.
Methods: In a retrospective analysis, patients older than 50 years presenting to the hospital over the past 4 years with traumatic intracranial hemorrhage and the use of aspirin, clopidogrel, or a combination were compared with a control group that had hemorrhage but no antiplatelet medications. Patient demographics, mechanism of injury, and injury scores were recorded.
Results: No significant differences were found between the 90 study patients and the 89 control subjects in terms of demographics, mechanism of injury, Injury Severity Score, Glasgow Coma Score, or hospital length of stay. Patients receiving antiplatelet therapy had significantly more comorbid conditions (71% vs. 35%; p < 0.001). In this series, 21 study patients and 8 control patients died (23% vs. 8.9%; p = 0.016). Age older than 76 years and a Glasgow Coma Score lower than 12 were correlated significantly with increased mortality.
Conclusions: The use of antiplatelet agents with elderly trauma patients significantly increases the risk of mortality when head injury involves intracranial hemorrhage.