Therapeutic Interventions and Outcomes in Civilian and Military Isolated Gunshot Wounds to the Head: A Department of Defense Trauma Registry and ACS TQIP-matched Study

Elizabeth R. Benjamin, Demetrios Demetriades*, Natthida Owattanapanich, Stacy A. Shackelford, Erik Roedel, Travis M. Polk, Subarna Biswas, Todd Rasmussen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare therapeutic strategies and outcomes, following isolated gunshot wounds of the head, between military and civilian populations. Background: Recent military conflicts introduced new concepts in trauma care, including aggressive surgical intervention in severe head trauma. Methods: This was a cohort-matched study, using the civilian Trauma Quality Improvement Program (TQIP) database of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the Department of Defense Trauma Registry (DoDTR), during the period 2013 to 2016. Included in the study were patients with isolated gunshots to the head. Exclusion criteria were dead on arrival, civilians transferred from other hospitals, and patients with major extracranial associated injuries (body area Abbreviated Injury Scale >3). Patients in the military database were propensity score-matched 1:3 with patients in the civilian database. Results: A total of 136 patients in the DoDTR database were matched for age, sex, year of injury, and head Abbreviated Injury Scale with 408 patients from TQIP. Utilization of blood products was significantly higher in the military population (P<0.001). In the military group, patients were significantly more likely to have intracranial pressure monitoring (17% vs 6%, P<0.001) and more likely to undergo craniotomy or craniectomy (34% vs 13%, P<0.001) than in the civilian group. Mortality in the military population was significantly lower (27% vs 38%, P=0.013). Conclusions: Military patients are more likely to receive blood products, have intracranial pressure monitoring and undergo craniectomy or craniotomy than their civilian counterparts after isolated head gunshot wounds. Mortality is significantly lower in the military population. Level of Evidence: Level III - therapeutic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E131-E136
JournalAnnals of surgery
Volume278
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • GSW head
  • civilian
  • military

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Therapeutic Interventions and Outcomes in Civilian and Military Isolated Gunshot Wounds to the Head: A Department of Defense Trauma Registry and ACS TQIP-matched Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this