According to a study completed at the Helsinki University Hospital Department of Neurosurgery, even patients over the age of 75 may recover from severe traumatic brain injury. This is the first study to describe the results of surgically treated elderly patients with acute subdural hematomas. It is generally accepted that elderly patients who suffer from an acute subdural hematoma should not be treated surgically, as few survive and even fewer recover to an independent life. However, the world’s population is rapidly ageing leading to an increased rate of fall accidents. In the worst case, falling may result in brain hemorrhage.
The study showed that no patients who had been brought to hospital unconscious, who had not been independent before the trauma, or who had used anticoagulants were alive at one year after the surgery. “What was surprising, however, was that patients who were conscious at presentation, who were not using anticoagulants or were independent before the operation, recovered quite well. The expected lifespan of these patients was comparable to their age-matched peers,” says MD, PhD Rahul Raj, one of the main authors.