Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 2 of 2 items for

  • Author or Editor: Charis A. Spears x
  • All content x
Clear All Modify Search
Restricted access

Charis A. Spears, Syed M. Adil, Brad J. Kolls, Michael E. Muhumza, Michael M. Haglund, Anthony T. Fuller, and Timothy W. Dunn

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to investigate whether neurosurgical intervention for traumatic brain injury (TBI) is associated with reduced risks of death and clinical deterioration in a low-income country with a relatively high neurosurgical capacity. The authors further aimed to assess whether the association between surgical intervention and acute poor outcomes differs according to TBI severity and various patient factors.

METHODS

Using TBI registry data collected from a national referral hospital in Uganda between July 2016 and April 2020, the authors performed Cox regression analyses of poor outcomes in admitted patients who did and did not undergo surgery for TBI, with surgery as a time-varying treatment variable. Patients were further stratified by TBI severity using the admission Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score: mild TBI (mTBI; GCS scores 13–15), moderate TBI (moTBI; GCS scores 9–12), and severe TBI (sTBI; GCS scores 3–8). Poor outcomes constituted Glasgow Outcome Scale scores 2–3, deterioration in TBI severity between admission and discharge (e.g., mTBI to sTBI), and death. Several clinical and demographic variables were included as covariates. Patients were observed for outcomes from admission through hospital day 10.

RESULTS

Of 1544 patients included in the cohort, 369 (24%) had undergone surgery. Rates of poor outcomes were 4% (n = 13) for surgical patients and 12% (n = 144) among nonsurgical patients (n = 1175). Surgery was associated with a 59% reduction in the hazard for a poor outcome (HR 0.41, 95% CI 0.23–0.72). Age, pupillary nonreactivity, fall injury, and TBI severity at admission were significant covariates. In models stratifying by TBI severity at admission, patients with mTBI had an 80% reduction in the hazard for a poor outcome with surgery (HR 0.20, 95% CI 0.04–0.90), whereas those with sTBI had a 65% reduction (HR 0.35, 95% CI 0.14–0.89). Patients with moTBI had a statistically nonsignificant 56% reduction in hazard (HR 0.44, 95% CI 0.17–1.17).

CONCLUSIONS

In this setting, the association between surgery and rates of poor outcomes varied with TBI severity and was influenced by several factors. Patients presenting with mTBI had the greatest reduction in the hazard for a poor outcome, followed by those presenting with sTBI. However, patients with moTBI had a nonsignificant reduction in the hazard, indicating greater variability in outcomes and underscoring the need for closer monitoring of this population. These results highlight the importance of accurate, timely clinical evaluation throughout a patient’s admission and can inform decisions about whether and when to perform surgery for TBI when resources are limited.

Free access

Cyrus Elahi, Theresa Williamson, Charis A. Spears, Sarah Williams, Josephine Nambi Najjuma, Catherine A. Staton, João Ricardo Nickenig Vissoci, Anthony Fuller, David Kitya, and Michael M. Haglund

OBJECTIVE

Traumatic brain injury (TBI), a burgeoning global health concern, is one condition that could benefit from prognostic modeling. Risk stratification of TBI patients on presentation to a health facility can support the prudent use of limited resources. The CRASH (Corticosteroid Randomisation After Significant Head Injury) model is a well-established prognostic model developed to augment complex decision-making. The authors’ current study objective was to better understand in-hospital decision-making for TBI patients and determine whether data from the CRASH risk calculator influenced provider assessment of prognosis.

METHODS

The authors performed a choice experiment using a simulated TBI case. All participant doctors received the same case, which included a patient history, vitals, and physical examination findings. Half the participants also received the CRASH risk score. Participants were asked to estimate the patient prognosis and decide the best next treatment step. The authors recruited a convenience sample of 28 doctors involved in TBI care at both a regional and a national referral hospital in Uganda.

RESULTS

For the simulated case, the CRASH risk scores for 14-day mortality and an unfavorable outcome at 6 months were 51.4% (95% CI 42.8%, 59.8%) and 89.8% (95% CI 86.0%, 92.6%), respectively. Overall, participants were overoptimistic when estimating the patient prognosis. Risk estimates by doctors provided with the CRASH risk score were closer to that score than estimates made by doctors in the control group; this effect was more pronounced for inexperienced doctors. Surgery was selected as the best next step by 86% of respondents.

CONCLUSIONS

This study was a novel assessment of a TBI prognostic model’s influence on provider estimation of risk in a low-resource setting. Exposure to CRASH risk score data reduced overoptimistic prognostication by doctors, particularly among inexperienced providers.