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Severe traumatic brain injury and hypotension is a frequent and lethal combination in multiple trauma patients in mountain areas - an analysis of the prospective international Alpine Trauma Registry

Simon Rauch, Matilde Marzolo, Tomas Dal Cappello, Mathias Ströhle, Peter Mair, Urs Pietsch, Hermann Brugger, Giacomo Strapazzon & IATR Study Group

abstract

BACKGROUND
Hypotension is associated with worse outcome in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and maintaining a systolic blood pressure (SBP) ≥110 mmHg is recommended. The aim of this study was to assess the incidence of TBI in patients suffering multiple trauma in mountain areas; to describe associated factors, treatment and outcome compared to non-hypotensive patients with TBI and patients without TBI; and to evaluate pre-hospital variables to predict admission hypotension.

METHODS
Data from the prospective International Alpine Trauma Registry including mountain multiple trauma patients (ISS ≥ 16) collected between 2010 and 2019 were analysed. Patients were divided into three groups: 1) TBI with hypotension, 2) TBI without hypotension and 3) no TBI. TBI was defined as Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) of the head/neck ≥3 and hypotension as SBP < 110 mmHg on hospital arrival.

RESULTS
A total of 287 patients were included. Fifty (17%) had TBI and hypotension, 92 (32%) suffered TBI without hypotension and 145 (51%) patients did not have TBI. Patients in group 1 were more severely injured (mean ISS 43.1 ± 17.4 vs 33.3 ± 15.3 vs 26.2 ± 18.1 for group 1 vs 2 vs 3, respectively, p < 0.001). Mean SBP on hospital arrival was 83.1 ± 12.9 vs 132.5 ± 19.4 vs 119.4 ± 25.8 mmHg (p < 0.001) despite patients in group 1 received more fluids. Patients in group 1 had higher INR, lower haemoglobin and lower base excess (p < 0.001). More than one third of patients in group 1 and 2 were hypothermic (body temperature < 35 °C) on hospital arrival while the rate of admission hypothermia was low in patients without TBI (41% vs 35% vs 21%, for group 1 vs 2 vs 3, p = 0.029). The rate of hypothermia on hospital arrival was different between the groups (p = 0.029). Patients in group 1 had the highest mortality (24% vs 10% vs 1%, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSION
Multiple trauma in the mountains goes along with severe TBI in almost 50%. One third of patients with TBI is hypotensive on hospital arrival and this is associated with a worse outcome. No single variable or set of variables easily obtainable at scene was able to predict admission hypotension in TBI patients.
   
citation Rauch S, Marzolo M, Cappello T D, Ströhle M, Mair P, Pietsch U, Brugger H, Strapazzon G, IATR study group . Severe traumatic brain injury and hypotension is a frequent and lethal combination in multiple trauma patients in mountain areas - an analysis of the prospective international Alpine Trauma Registry. Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med 2021; 29:61.
   
type journal paper/review (English)
date of publishing 30-04-2021
journal title Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med (29/1)
ISSN electronic 1757-7241
pages 61
PubMed 33931076
DOI 10.1186/s13049-021-00879-1