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J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2012 May;72(5):1181-5. doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e31824d0e6d.

Long-term survival after major trauma in geriatric trauma patients: the glass is half full.

Author information

1
Trauma Division, St. Luke's Hospital and Health Network, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18015, USA. grossmm@slhn.org

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The objective is to examine the long-term survival status of geriatric trauma patients (GTPs) after major trauma.

METHODS:

A 10-year retrospective review at a Level I trauma center was performed. GTP were defined as age ≥ 65 years, with Injury Severity Score ≥ 30. Primary endpoints: survival at hospital discharge and long-term survival and discharge status. Two groups were defined: Abbreviated Injury Score (AIS) head >3 (G1, n = 116) and AIS head ≤ 3 (G2, n = 29). For GTP surviving hospitalization, two subgroups were defined: AIS head >3 (SG1, n = 77) and AIS head ≤ 3 (SG2, n = 20). Comparisons were analyzed for exploratory purposes only by independent t-tests or Mann-Whitney rank sums tests as appropriate. Long-term survival was plotted by a Kaplan-Meier curve.

RESULTS:

A total of 145 GTP met inclusion criteria. In-hospital mortality was 33%. Nonsurvivors had lower Glasgow Coma Scale score (6 vs. 14, p < 0.001), higher Injury Severity Score (38 vs. 34, p < 0.003), and lower Revised Trauma Score (5.97 vs. 7.84, p < 0.002). Hospital mortality for G1 was 34% (39 of 116) and for G2 was 31% (9 of 29). In group 1 (n = 116), 39 patients (34%) died while 77 (66%) survived a median of 29 months (interquartile range [IQR] = 6-62). In group 2 (n = 29), 9 patients (31%) died while 20 (69%) survived a median of 46.50 months (IQR = 26.75-79). For the 77 patients who were alive at discharge (subgroup 1, AIS >3), 25 (32%) died while 52 (68%) survived a median of 33 months (IQR = 10.50-72.75). For the 20 patients with AIS ≤ 3 (subgroup 2), 7 of 20 (35%) died while 13 (65%) survived a median of 49 months (IQR = 30.50-93.50). A total of 28 patients (19%) survived more than 5 years from the time of discharge. For these 65 GTPs who are currently alive at the time of follow-up, living status could be determined for 49 (75%) and 33 of 49 (67%) were living at home.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study documents appreciable long-term survival for GTP with major injury including severe head injury. A substantial proportion of these patients was able to return home.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

III, prognostic/epidemiological study.

PMID:
22673243
DOI:
10.1097/TA.0b013e31824d0e6d
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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