ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to determine whether inebriated patients falling on stairs sustain more severe head injuries than sober patients because of a delayed reaction time and a pathological coagulation and clotting system.
The files of 140 head-injured patients who came to admission after falling on stairs were retrospectively reviewed with respect to demographic data, initial Glasgow coma scale (GCS) score, type of hematoma, coagulation parameters and outcome (death versus survival, Glasgow Outcome Scale [GOS] score GOS 3-5 vs. GOS 1 and 2).
There were 69 patients who had an alcohol level of > or = 0.8 parts per thousand at the time of the fall (49.0 %). The mortality in the group of inebriated patients was 12.9 %, in the group of sober patients 33.3 % (p = 0.001). The characteristics of the two groups were comparable, except for age (50.4 vs. 69.1 years, p = 0.001). The analysis of mortality in relation to age confirmed the finding of a lower mortality rate in inebriated patients.
The hypothesis that inebriated patients sustain more severe head injuries with higher mortality rates could not be validated. Routine laboratory tests did not detect coagulation and clotting disorders in inebriated patients. Instead, our study again showed that age is one of the major prognostic factors in head injury.
Zentralblatt für Neurochirurgie 06/2005; 66(2):59-62. · 0.63 Impact Factor