Comparing the outcomes of isolated, serious traumatic brain injury in older adults managed at major trauma centres and neurosurgical services: A registry-based cohort study

Matthew S. Dunn, Ben Beck, Pam M. Simpson, Peter A. Cameron, Marcus Kennedy, Matthew Maiden, Rodney Judson, Belinda J. Gabbe

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: The incidence of older adult traumatic brain injury (TBI) is increasing in both high and middle to low-income countries. It is unknown whether older adults with isolated, serious TBI can be safely managed outside of major trauma centres. This registry based cohort study aimed to compare mortality and functional outcomes of older adults with isolated, serious TBI who were managed at specialised Major Trauma Services (MTS) and Metropolitan Neurosurgical Services (MNS). Method: Older adults (65 years and over) who sustained an isolated, serious TBI following a low fall (from standing or ≤ 1 m) were extracted from the Victorian State Trauma Registry from 2007 to 2016. Multivariable models were fitted to assess the association between hospital designation (MTS vs. MNS) and the two outcomes of interest: in-hospital mortality and functional outcome, adjusting for potential confounders. Functional outcomes were measured using the Glasgow Outcome Scale Extended at six months post-injury. Results: From 2007–2016, there were 1904 older adults who sustained an isolated, serious TBI from a low fall who received definitive care at an MTS (n = 1124) or an MNS (n = 780). After adjusting for confounders, there was no mortality benefit for patients managed at an MTS over an MNS (OR = 0.84; 95% CI: 0.65, 1.08; P = 0.17) or improvement in functional outcome six months post-injury (OR = 1.13; 95% CI: 0.94, 1.36; P = 0.21). Conclusion: For older adults with isolated, serious TBI following a low fall, there was no difference in mortality or functional outcome based on definitive management at an MTS or an MNS. This confirms that MNS without the added designation of a major trauma centre are a suitable destination for the management of isolated, serious TBI in older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to) 1534-1539
Number of pages6
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019


  • Functional outcome
  • Older adult
  • TBI
  • Trauma systems
  • Traumatic brain injury

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