The nonsurgical nature of patients with subarachnoid or intraparenchymal hemorrhage associated with mild traumatic brain injury

Academic Article


  • Object Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), as defined by Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score of 13 or higher, is a common problem in the United States and worldwide, estimated to affect more than 1 million patients yearly. When associated with intracranial hemorrhage, it is a common reason for neurosurgical consultation and transfer to tertiary care centers. The authors set out to investigate the clinical implications of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and/or intraparenchymal hemorrhage (IPH) associated with mTBI in hopes of standardization of mTBI clinical care and optimization of resource allocation. Methods The authors performed a retrospective review of 500 consecutively treated patients with mTBI and SAH and/or IPH admitted to a Level I trauma center in Alabama between May 2003 and May 2013. They performed a review of medical records to confirm the diagnosis, determine neurological condition at admission, and assess for episodes of neurological decline or brain injury-related complications incluDing altered mental status, seizures, and hyponatremia. Results Of the 500 patients for whom data were reviewed, 304 (60.8%) were male and 196 (39.2%) were female. Average age was 46.3 years. Overall, 63 patients (12.6%) had isolated IPH, 411 (82.2%) had isolated SAH, and 26 (5.2%) had radiographic evidence of both IPH and SAH. One hundred forty-five patients (29%) were transferred an average distance of 64.5 miles. The authors identified no patients who experienced neurological worsening during their hospital course. Two patients experienced hyponatremia that required treatment with sodium supplementation. Conclusions Patients with the constellation of SAH and/or IPH and mTBI do not require neurosurgical consultation, and these findings should not be used as the sole criteria to justify transfer to tertiary referral centers.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • DItty BJ; Omar NB; Foreman PM; Patel DM; Pritchard PR; Okor MO
  • Start Page

  • 649
  • End Page

  • 653
  • Volume

  • 123
  • Issue

  • 3