Outcome of self-inflicted gunshot wounds of the brain.

Department of Emergency Medicine, Methodist Hospital of Indiana, Inc, Indianapolis.
Annals of Emergency Medicine (Impact Factor: 4.33). 04/1988; 17(3):247-53. DOI: 10.1016/S0196-0644(88)80117-3
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A consecutive series of 67 patients who had sustained self-inflicted gunshot wounds of the brain was reviewed retrospectively to evaluate factors determining outcome. Weapon caliber, site of bullet entry, degree of brain wounding on computerized tomographic scan, and presenting Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score were examined. Overall mortality, degree of disability in survivors, and survival time after injury in fatally wounded patients were assessed. Ninety-eight percent of all patients with an initial GCS score of 8 or less died. When the GCS score was more than 8, 91% of patients survived (P less than .0001). Survival rate was significantly increased in patients with injury limited to one lobe of the brain, compared with patients with brain wounds of greater severity demonstrated on computerized tomographic scan (P less than .05), while a missile crossing both vertical anatomic planes of the brain or coming to rest in the posterior fossa was lethal in 100% of cases. Survivors scored relatively well on the Glasgow Outcome Scale. Almost all (98%) fatally injured patients maintained vital functions for a time ample for transportation and evaluation at a major referral center. These findings hold important implications for trauma center and critical care resource allocation as well as organ transplantation programs.

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