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Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2007 Feb;119(1-2):23-8.

Severe traumatic brain injury in Austria I: introduction to the study.

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INRO (International Neurotrauma Research Organisation), Vienna, Austria.



The goals of the Austrian Severe Traumatic Brain Injury Study were to investigate the current management of patients with severe traumatic brain injury in Austria and to assess the effects of introducing guidelines for the management of severe traumatic brain injury upon the outcome of these patients. The purpose of this paper is to give a detailed description of the goals, methods, and overall results of the study, and to provide an introduction to a series of papers where the results of the study will be presented and discussed.


The study included patients with severe traumatic brain injury from five centers in Austria. Data on accident, pre-hospital treatment, hospital treatment, and patient status were collected prospectively. Patient data was entered daily for the first 10 days in hospital and then up to a year after discharge from intensive care. All data was entered into an internet-based database. The data was evaluated to describe epidemiology, pre-hospital treatment, medical management, and surgical management; the evaluation also assessed the effects of guideline-based management on traumatic brain injury patients.


The data set comprises a total of 492 patient records from the 5 participating hospitals; this data was collected over a 3-year period. Data quality is considered good; the number of missing data items is low. ICU mortality was 31.6%. Final outcome: 23% of the patients had a good recovery, 10% had moderate disabilities, 8% had severe disabilities, 6% were persistent vegetative, and 38% died. Final outcome was unknown in 16% of patients.


This study proved that an internet-based database may be a valuable tool for prospective multicenter studies if many variables have to be collected for a high number of patients. The results of our study provide enough evidence to initiate further research on many aspects of the management of traumatic brain injury patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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