Background: Secondary insults/complications have a major impact on the prognosis after traumatic brain injury (TBI). The aim was to study the occurrence and prognostic value of secondary insults occurring in TBI patients, during standardized neurointensive care (NIC) dedicated to avoiding secondary insults.
Material and Methods: 154 patients, 17–79 years, with acute head trauma and pathologic CT, treated during a 2-year period at the NIC unit were studied. The occurrence of defined secondary insults (standard and severe) was recorded during the 1st week of NIC from bedside surveillance charts containing one value per hour and parameter (intracranial pressure, cerebral perfusion pressure, systolic blood pressure, PaO2, temperature, and blood glucose). The data set was analyzed using univariate and multivariate logistic regression with favorable outcome as the response variable. Both admission variables (Glasgow Coma Scale Motor Score [GCS M], CT class, Injury Severity Score [ISS], age, and gender) and secondary insult variables were included as explanatory variables.
Results: In total, 1,570 insults were identified (320 severe). In the univariate analysis, the sum of all insults, blood glucose, GCS M, CT class, and ISS showed significant effects on outcome (p < 0.05). In the multiple regression analysis, GCS M was the only significant explanatory variable.
Conclusions: The occurrence of secondary insults in the NIC unit was not negligible, despite the fact that major efforts were made to avoid them. The sum score of all insult categories and high blood glucose had a statistically significant effect on favorable outcome in the univariate analysis, but secondary insults did not add any prognostic information to the neurologic grade in the multivariate analysis. This finding indicates that the insults that occurred were related to the degree of primary injury/neurologic grade.
2003. Vol. 29, no 2, 74-80 p.