Study advocates surgery for some geriatric brain injuries

West Virginia has an aging population, and many people are living to be older than ever before. This means that geriatric medical issues are assuming more and more significance. One of the unfortunate side effects of aging is an increasing propensity towards bad falls, and head injuries are a common result. Because of the extreme trauma inflicted upon the body by brain surgery, the difficulty of recovery and the expense involved, the prognosis on the elderly has not generally been considered good enough to treat the brain injury through neurosurgery. Now researchers in Finland are working to change this practice.

A study has been published by Helsinki University Hospital Department of Neurosurgery that demonstrates patients over the age of 75 who have suffered an acute subdural hematoma, a specific type of traumatic brain injury, may recover from brain surgery quite well so long as they do not fit into three general statistical categories. Geriatric patients who were taking oral anticoagulants were found to have a poor chance of recovery after surgery, as were those who had already lost their personal independence before the accident. Patients who arrived at the hospital unconscious after the injury were also discovered to be poor candidates for neurosurgical intervention.

Elderly patients who did not fall into these categories were shown to have generally good chances at survival and recovery. Based on these findings, the study recommended surgical intervention for these specific patients who have suffered this specific injury.

Elderly people may fall and suffer a resulting head injury for a variety of reasons, including slipping on a wet floor while in a supermarket or other retail establishment. A personal injury attorney might assist such an injured victim by examining the evidence to see if the property owner was negligent and should thus be held financially responsible for the ensuing damages.

Source: Medical Xpress, "Even the elderly can recover from a severe traumatic brain injury", Nov. 27, 2015

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