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Does Platelet Administration Affect Mortality in Elderly Head-Injured Patients Taking Antiplatelet Medications?

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A significant portion of patients sustaining traumatic brain injury (TBI) take antiplatelet medications (aspirin or clopidogrel), which have been associated with increased morbidity and mortality. In an attempt to alleviate the risk of increased bleeding, platelet transfusion has become standard practice in some institutions. This study was designed to determine if platelet transfusion reduces mortality in patients with TBI on antiplatelet medications. Databases from two Level I trauma centers were reviewed. Patients with TBI 50 years of age or older with documented preinjury use of clopidogrel or aspirin were included in our cohort. Patients who received platelet transfusions were compared with those who did not to assess outcome differences between them. Demographics and other patient characteristics abstracted included Injury Severity Score, Glasgow Coma Scale, hospital length of stay, and warfarin use. Three hundred twenty-eight patients comprised the study group. Of these patients, 166 received platelet transfusion and 162 patients did not. Patients who received platelets had a mortality rate of 17.5 per cent (29 of 166), whereas those who did not receive platelets had a mortality rate of 16.7 per cent (27 of 162) (P = 0.85). Transfusion of platelets in patients with TBI using antiplatelet therapy did not reduce mortality.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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