Cervical spine injury (CSI) in octogenarians continues to carry a high morbidity and mortality rate. The incidence of CSI among individuals who are below the age of 80 is declining, whereas the incidence of CSI for those 80 years and above is rising.
<bold>The aim of the study</bold> was to evaluate outcomes of cervical spine injuries in octogenarians caused by different mechanisms: motor vehicle accidents, compared to a fall.
<bold>Material and methods.</bold> The National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB) was queried for patients ages 80 and above, who sustained a cervical spine injury via motor vehicle collision and falls. Patient demographics, mechanism of injury, Glasgow Coma Score (GCS), injury severity score (ISS), days in Intensive Care Unit, Temperature on arrival, blood pressure on arrival, CT Scan of head results, complications, sex, and mortality.
<bold>Results.</bold> Three-thousand three hundred seventy-five patients, 80 years of age and older with CSI were included in the study; fifteen percent of these octogenarians with cervical spine injuries died. It was observed that patients in the motor vehicle accident (MVA) group have 1.737 (95% CI 1.407, 2.144 p-value < 0.0001) times the odds of dying, compared to those in the fall group. Patients over the age of 80 who were in a MVA have 1.209 (95% CI 0.941, 1.554 p-value = 0.1372) times the odds of having a positive head CT, compared with people over the age of 80 who experienced a fall. Patients involved in a motor vehicle accident with associated CSI were more likely to be a younger age, have a lower GCS on arrival, have a longer length of stay in the Intensive Care Unit, and a higher ISS (p<0.05).
<bold>Conclusions.</bold> Cervical spine injury in octogenarians carries a high mortality regardless of mechanism. Elderly patients who suffer cervical spine injuries in motor vehicle accidents have a lower SBP, a higher ISS and are nearly twice as likely to die as those who were injured in a fall.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.