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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Octogenarians with blunt splenic injury: not all geriatrics are the same.

  • Author(s): Bashir, Rame
  • Grigorian, Areg
  • Lekawa, Michael
  • Joe, Victor
  • Schubl, Sebastian D
  • Chin, Theresa L
  • Kong, Allen
  • Nahmias, Jeffry
  • et al.

Geriatric trauma patients (GTP) (age ≥ 65 years) with blunt splenic injury (BSI) have up to a 6% failure rate of non-operative management (NOM). GTPs failing NOM have a similar mortality rate compared to GTPs managed successfully with NOM. However, it is unclear if this remains true in octogenarians (aged 80-89 years). We hypothesized that the failure rate for NOM in octogenarians would be similar to their younger geriatric cohort, patients aged 65-79 years; however risk of mortality in octogenarians who fail NOM would be higher than that of octogenarians managed successfully with NOM. The Trauma Quality Improvement Program (2010-2016) was queried for patients with BSI. Those undergoing splenectomy within 6 h were excluded to select for patients undergoing NOM. Patients aged 65-79 years (young GTPs) were compared to octogenarians. A multivariable logistic regression model was used to determine the risk for failed NOM and mortality. From 43,041 BSI patients undergoing NOM, 3660 (8.5%) were aged 65-79 years and 1236 (2.9%) were octogenarians. Both groups had a similar median Injury Severity Score (ISS) (p = 0.10) and failure rate of NOM (6.6% young GTPs vs. 6.8% octogenarians p = 0.82). From those failing NOM, octogenarians had similar units of blood products transfused (p > 0.05) and a higher mortality rate (40.5% vs. 18.2%, p < 0.001), compared to young GTPs. Independent risk factors for failing NOM in octogenarians included ≥ 1 unit of packed red blood cells (PRBC) (p = 0.039) within 24 h of admission. Octogenarians who failed NOM had a higher mortality rate compared to octogenarians managed successfully with NOM (40.5% vs 23.6% p = 0.001), which persisted in a multivariable logistic regression analysis (OR 2.25, CI 1.37-3.70, p < 0.001). Late failure of NOM ≥ 24 h (vs. early failure) was not associated with increased risk of mortality (p = 0.88), but ≥ 1 unit of PRBC transfused had higher risk (OR 1.88, CI 1.20-2.95, p = 0.006). Compared to young GTPs with BSI, octogenarians have a similar rate of failed NOM. Octogenarians with BSI who fail NOM have over a twofold higher risk of mortality compared to those managed successfully with NOM. PRBC transfusion increases risk for mortality. Therefore, clinicians should consider failure of NOM earlier in the octogenarian population to mitigate the risk of increased mortality.

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