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Pious D. Patel, Katherine A. Kelly, Heidi Chen, Amber Greeno, Chevis N. Shannon, and Robert P. Naftel

OBJECTIVE

Rural-dwelling children may suffer worse pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) outcomes due to distance from and accessibility to high-volume trauma centers. This study aimed to compare the impacts of institutional TBI volume and sociodemographics on outcomes between rural- and urban-dwelling children.

METHODS

This retrospective study identified patients 0–19 years of age with ICD-9 codes for TBI in the 2012–2015 National Inpatient Sample database. Patients were characterized as rural- or urban-dwelling using United States Census classification. Logistic and linear (in log scale) regressions were performed to measure the effects of institutional characteristics, patient sociodemographics, and mechanism/severity of injury on occurrence of medical complications, mortality, length of stay (LOS), and costs. Separate models were built for rural- and urban-dwelling patients.

RESULTS

A total of 19,736 patients were identified (median age 11 years, interquartile range [IQR] 2–16 years, 66% male, 55% Caucasian). Overall, rural-dwelling patients had higher All Patient Refined Diagnosis Related Groups injury severity (median 2 [IQR 1–3] vs 1 [IQR 1–2], p < 0.001) and more intracranial monitoring (6% vs 4%, p < 0.001). Univariate analysis showed that overall, rural-dwelling patients suffered increased medical complications (6% vs 4%, p < 0.001), mortality (6% vs 4%, p < 0.001), and LOS (median 2 days [IQR 1–4 days ] vs 2 days [IQR 1–3 days], p < 0.001), but multivariate analysis showed rural-dwelling status was not associated with these outcomes after adjusting for injury severity, mechanism, and hospital characteristics. Institutional TBI volume was not associated with medical complications, disposition, or mortality for either population but was associated with LOS for urban-dwelling patients (nonlinear beta, p = 0.008) and cost for both rural-dwelling (nonlinear beta, p < 0.001) and urban-dwelling (nonlinear beta, p < 0.001) patients.

CONCLUSIONS

Overall, rural-dwelling pediatric patients with TBI have worsened injury severity, mortality, and in-hospital complications, but these disparities disappear after adjusting for injury severity and mechanism. Institutional TBI volume does not impact clinical outcomes for rural- or urban-dwelling children after adjusting for these covariates. Addressing the root causes of the increased injury severity at hospital arrival may be a useful path to improve TBI outcomes for rural-dwelling children.

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Patrick D. Kelly, Pious D. Patel, Aaron M. Yengo-Kahn, Daniel I. Wolfson, Fakhry Dawoud, Ranbir Ahluwalia, Oscar D. Guillamondegui, and Christopher M. Bonfield

OBJECTIVE

Several scores estimate the prognosis for gunshot wounds to the head (GSWH) at the point of hospital admission. However, prognosis may change over the course of the hospital stay. This study measures the accuracy of the Baylor score among patients who have already survived the acute phase of hospitalization and generates conditional outcome curves for the duration of hospital stay for patients with GSWH.

METHODS

Patients in whom GSWH with dural penetration occurred between January 2009 and June 2019 were identified from a trauma registry at a level I trauma center in the southeastern US. The Baylor score was calculated using component variables. Conditional overall survival and good functional outcome (Glasgow Outcome Scale score of 4 or 5) curves were generated. The accuracy of the Baylor score in predicting mortality and functional outcome among acute-phase survivors (survival > 48 hours) was assessed using receiver operating characteristic curves and the area under the curve (AUC).

RESULTS

A total of 297 patients were included (mean age 38.0 [SD 15.7] years, 73.4% White, 85.2% male), and 129 patients survived the initial 48 hours of admission. These acute-phase survivors had a decreased mortality rate of 32.6% (n = 42) compared to 68.4% (n = 203) for all patients, and an increased rate of good functional outcome (48.1%; n = 62) compared to the rate for all patients (23.2%; n = 69). Among acute-phase survivors, the Baylor score accurately predicted mortality (AUC = 0.807) and functional outcome (AUC = 0.837). However, the Baylor score generally overestimated true mortality rates and underestimated good functional outcome. Additionally, hospital day 18 represented an inflection point of decreasing probability of good functional outcome.

CONCLUSIONS

During admission for GSWH, surviving beyond the acute phase of 48 hours doubles the rates of survival and good functional outcome. The Baylor score maintains reasonable accuracy in predicting these outcomes for acute-phase survivors, but generally overestimates mortality and underestimates good functional outcome. Future prognostic models should incorporate conditional survival to improve the accuracy of prognostication after the acute phase.

Free access

Aaron M. Yengo-Kahn, Pious D. Patel, Patrick D. Kelly, Daniel I. Wolfson, Fakhry Dawoud, Ranbir Ahluwalia, Christopher M. Bonfield, and Oscar D. Guillamondegui

OBJECTIVE

Gunshot wounds to the head (GSWH) are devastating injuries with a grim prognosis. Several prognostic scores have been created to estimate mortality and functional outcome, including the so-called Baylor score, an uncomplicated scoring method based on bullet trajectory, patient age, and neurological status on admission. This study aimed to validate the Baylor score within a temporally, institutionally, and geographically distinct patient population.

METHODS

Data were obtained from the trauma registry at a level I trauma center in the southeastern US. Patients with a GSWH in which dural penetration occurred were identified from data collected between January 1, 2009, and June 30, 2019. Patient demographics, medical history, bullet trajectory, intent of GSWH (e.g., suicide), admission vital signs, Glasgow Coma Scale score, pupillary response, laboratory studies, and imaging reports were collected. The Baylor score was calculated directly by using its clinical components. The ability of the Baylor score to predict mortality and good functional outcome (Glasgow Outcome Scale score 4 or 5) was assessed using the receiver operating characteristic curve and the area under the curve (AUC) as a measure of performance.

RESULTS

A total of 297 patients met inclusion criteria (mean age 38.0 [SD 15.7] years, 73.4% White, 85.2% male). A total of 205 (69.0%) patients died, whereas 69 (23.2%) patients had good functional outcome. Overall, the Baylor score showed excellent discrimination of mortality (AUC = 0.88) and good functional outcome (AUC = 0.90). Baylor scores of 3–5 underestimated mortality. Baylor scores of 0, 1, and 2 underestimated good functional outcome.

CONCLUSIONS

The Baylor score is an accurate and easy-to-use prognostic scoring tool that demonstrated relatively stable performance in a distinct cohort between 2009 and 2019. In the current era of trauma management, providers may continue to use the score at the point of admission to guide family counseling and to direct investment of healthcare resources.