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Title: Emergency neurosurgery in Darwin: still the generalist surgeons' responsibility.
Authors: Luck, Tara
Treacy, Peter John
Mathieson, Matthew
Sandilands, Jessica
Weidlich, Stephanie
Read, David
Citation: ANZ journal of surgery 2015-09; 85(9): 610-4
Abstract: Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH) is the only major hospital for the 'Top End' of Northern Territory and Western Australia. As retrieval distances exceed 2600 km, resident generalist surgeons undertake all emergency neurosurgery. Retrospective clinical study from RDH records and review of prospectively collected datasets from RDH Intensive Care Unit and National Critical Care Trauma Response Centre for all emergency neurosurgery patients between 2008 and 2013. Data were obtained from 161 patients with 167 admissions (73% male, 39% indigenous) who underwent 195 procedures (33 per year), including burr hole, craniotomy, cerebral and posterior fossa craniectomy, elevation fracture and ventricular drain. Trauma accounted for 68%, with alcohol as a known factor in 57%. Subdural haematoma (SDH) accounted for 53%. Severity of head injury at presentation correlated with outcome (R(2) = 0.12, P < 0.001). Factors associated with death included injury at remote location (P = 0.022), time injury to operation >24 h (P = 0.023) and specific diagnoses of acute SDH (P = 0.006), acute-on-chronic SDH (P = 0.053) and infection (P = 0.052). Indigenous patients were younger (40 versus 55 years, P < 0.001) and more likely to have alcohol as a factor in trauma cases (71% versus 49%, P = 0.027). Time from injury to hospital was high for accidents at a remote location (12.9 versus 1.3 h, P < 0.001); however, Glasgow Outcome Scales (P = 0.13) were no different to accident at metropolitan Darwin. General surgeons at RDH perform a wide range of emergency neurosurgical procedures primarily for trauma. Factors contributing to poor outcomes included remote location of trauma and delay in reaching the hospital. Outcomes at 3 months appear acceptable.
Click to open PubMed article: https://www.ezpdhcs.nt.gov.au/login?url=https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25916661
Click to open Pubmed Article: https://www.ezpdhcs.nt.gov.au/login?url=https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25916661
Journal title: ANZ journal of surgery
Publication Date: 2015-09
Type: Journal Article
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10137/5487
DOI: 10.1111/ans.13138
Appears in Collections:(a) NT Health Research Collection

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