Purpose: To describe ICU stay, selected management aspects, and outcome of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) in Europe, and to quantify variation across centers. Methods: This is a prospective observational multicenter study conducted across 18 countries in Europe and Israel. Admission characteristics, clinical data, and outcome were described at patient- and center levels. Between-center variation in the total ICU population was quantified with the median odds ratio (MOR), with correction for case-mix and random variation between centers. Results: A total of 2138 patients were admitted to the ICU, with median age of 49 years; 36% of which were mild TBI (Glasgow Coma Scale; GCS 13–15). Within, 72 h 636 (30%) were discharged and 128 (6%) died. Early deaths and long-stay patients (> 72 h) had more severe injuries based on the GCS and neuroimaging characteristics, compared with short-stay patients. Long-stay patients received more monitoring and were treated at higher intensity, and experienced worse 6-month outcome compared to short-stay patients. Between-center variations were prominent in the proportion of short-stay patients (MOR = 2.3, p < 0.001), use of intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring (MOR = 2.5, p < 0.001) and aggressive treatments (MOR = 2.9, p < 0.001); and smaller in 6-month outcome (MOR = 1.2, p = 0.01). Conclusions: Half of contemporary TBI patients at the ICU have mild to moderate head injury. Substantial between-center variations exist in ICU stay and treatment policies, and less so in outcome. It remains unclear whether admission of short-stay patients represents appropriate prudence or inappropriate use of clinical resources.

Intensive care unit, Intracranial pressure, Outcome, Traumatic brain injury
dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00134-020-05965-z, hdl.handle.net/1765/126833
Intensive Care Medicine
Department of Public Health

Huijben, J.A, Wiegers-Groeneweg, E.J.A, Lingsma, H.F, Citerio, G, Maas, A.I.R, Menon, D.K, … van Essen, T.A. (Thomas A.). (2020). Changing care pathways and between-center practice variations in intensive care for traumatic brain injury across Europe. Intensive Care Medicine, 46(5), 995–1004. doi:10.1007/s00134-020-05965-z