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    Nationally, the volume of geriatric falls with intracranial hemorrhage is increasing. Our institution began observing patients with intracranial hemorrhage, Glasgow Coma Scale of 14 or greater, and no midline shift or intraventricular hemorrhage with hourly neurologic examinations outside of the ICU in a high observation trauma (HOT) protocol. We first excluded patients on anticoagulants or antiplatelets (HOT I), then included antiplatelets and warfarin (HOT II), and finally, included direct oral anticoagulants (HOT III). Our hypothesis is that HOT protocol safely reduces ICU use and creates cost savings in this patient population. Our institutional trauma registry was retrospectively queried for all patients on HOT protocol. Patients were stratified based on date of admission (HOT I [2008-2014], HOT II [2015-2018], and HOT III [2019-2021]), and were compared for demographics, anticoagulant use, injury characteristics, lengths of stay, incidence of neurointervention, and mortality. During the study period, 2,343 patients were admitted: 939 stratified to HOT I, 794 to HOT II, and 610 to HOT III. Of these patients, 331 (35%), 554 (70%), and 495 (81%) were admitted to the floor under HOT protocol, respectively. HOT protocol patients required neurointervention in 3.0%, 0.5%, and 0.4% of cases in HOT I, II, and III, respectively. Mortality among HOT protocol patients was found to be 0.6% in HOT I, 0.9% in HOT II, and 0.2% in the HOT III cohort (p = 0.33). Throughout the study period ICU use decreased without an increase in neurosurgical intervention or mortality, indicating the efficacy of the HOT selection criteria in identifying appropriate candidates for stepdown admission and HOT protocol. Copyright © 2023 by the American College of Surgeons. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


    Sean Hamlin, Rosalyn Alexander, Kathryn Hayes, AnnMarie Szoke, Adam Benton, Rebecca Wilde-Onia, Roberto Castillo, Peter Thomas, James Cipolla, Maxwell A Braverman. Impact of a High Observation Trauma Protocol on Patients with Isolated Traumatic Brain Injury. Journal of the American College of Surgeons. 2023 Aug 01;237(2):344-351

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    PMID: 37026829

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