Anemia Could Lead To Poorer Outcomes After TBI


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There are many factors that can determine whether a person is likely to experience a positive outcome after experiencing traumatic brain injury (TBI), and more are being found on a regular basis.

According to a study recently published in World Neurosurgery, one of those factors may be a person’s history with anemia. The findings suggest those who have been diagnosed with anemia may have a notably poorer outcome following TBI than those who are not anemic.

For the study, researchers from the University of Missouri-Columbia reviewed data collected from 939 patients with anemia who experienced a TBI and were admitted to the Frank L. Mitchell Jr., MD, Trauma Center. Specifically, the team compared the participants’ hemoglobin levels at the time of admission with their outcomes within 1 year of surgery.

The findings showed that not only did patients with lower levels of hemoglobin experience more head and systemic injuries than healthy patients, they were also more likely to have a poor outcome.

“The purpose of this study is not to propose transfusion guidelines, but rather to show that anemia can be harmful to patients with traumatic brain injuries,” says Litofsky says N. Scott Litofsky, MD, chief of the MU School of Medicine’s Division of Neurological Surgery and lead author of the study, in the release.

“Now that we have shown that anemia affects a patient’s recovery, further studies are needed to determine the best way to correct it. The ultimate goal of this research is to help patients recover more quickly from traumatic brain injuries.”

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