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Year : 2004  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 5-8

Outcome of Acute Head Injury Admissions into the Intensive Care Unit of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital

1 Department of Anaesthesia, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, P.M.B 12003, Lagos, Nigeria
2 Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, P.M.B 12003, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
I Desalu
Department of Anaesthesia, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, P.M.B 12003, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background/Objective: Acute head injury is a major cause of morbidity and mortality and patients suffering from this constitute a significant workload for the Intensive care unit (ICU). This study was undertaken to determine the pattern, management and outcome of head injury patients admitted into the ICU of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital. Method: This was a prospective study of head injury patients seen at the Accident and Emergency (A&E) department and subsequently admitted into the ICU over a one-year period. These patients were assessed using the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) and those with GCS less than 9 were admitted into the ICU. Data obtained included age, sex, cause of injury, the Glasgow Coma Scale, management, complications and immediate outcome. Results: Twenty-two patients were studied with a mean age of 28.86 years. Eighty-one percent were males and 77.3% of the injuries were due to road traffic accidents. The majority of patients (72%) had a GCS of 3-5. The mean A&E to ICU admission interval was 17.35 hours. All patients were intubated for a mean duration of 5.52 days. Sixty-eight percent of patients were ventilated and the mean duration of ventilation was 78.25 hours. Patients with GCS 3-5 were ventilated for significantly longer than those with GCS 6-8 (p<0.05). Twenty-seven percent of patients had a CT scan. An operative intervention was performed in 13.6% of patients. The mean duration of the ICU stay was 8.53 days. The commonest complication was seizures in 59.1% of head injuries. The overall mortality was 77.3%. Conclusion: The outcome of head injury depends on the GCS. Patients with GCS 3-5 had a poorer outcome irrespective of management given. There is a need to implement existing protocols for management of acute head injury in our institution for better results.

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