Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):13, 32, 2, 225-232
Study identified the characteristics that distinguished elderly patients who died after the first year following traumatic brain injury (TBI) and those who continued to live, in order to get a better understanding of risk factors, and possibly identify preventable risk factors. A retrospective medical chart review was conducted of individuals 55 years and older, who completed inpatient acute rehabilitation at one of two TBI Model Systems centers during the period 2003-2009. Thirty patients who died one to five years after injury were compared to 30 matched patients who did not die. Results showed a significantly higher proportion of deceased subjects with a diagnosis of abnormality of gait (53 percent) compared to controls. Deceased participants were more likely to be prescribed respiratory medications at admission (32 percent) and discharge (17 percent) and diabetes medication at discharge (35 percent), while controls were more likely to be prescribed cholesterol-lowering medications (27 percent) at admission. Deceased patients were discharged with significantly more medications. The results suggest the need for medical and lifestyle interventions for selected elderly TBI patients. The factors related to death following TBI in the elderly are in need of more research.