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Parmar KA, Rao S, Abu-Zidan FM
Correspondence: Dr Fikri M Abu-Zidan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction The objective of this study was to study the clinical course and outcome of warfarinised patients who were hospitalised because of head trauma.
Methods 13 patients (ten males and three females; median age 69 years) who presented to the Royal Perth Hospital, Australia and who had suffered a head injury between July 1994 and June 2000 while concurrently taking warfarin, were studied.
Results Confusion was the commonest presenting symptom (four patients). Five patients presented after more than 24 hours of the injury. Eight patients were anticoagulated for thromboembolic disease and five for atrial fibrillation. The patients had a median injury severity score of 25 (range 1-43). The median international normalised ratio was 2.4 (range 1.8-10) on admission and 1.8 (range 1.0-10) on discharge. 11 of the 13 patients had computed tomography of the head. Intracerebral bleeding was the commonest injury (nine patients). The median length of hospital stay was six days (range 3-30). Five patients died (38.5%).
Conclusion Warfarinised patients who sustain minor head trauma should be hospitalised for close neurological observation and should have a low threshold for performing computed tomography.
Keywords: computed tomography, head trauma, intracerebral haemorrhage, warfarin
Singapore Med J 2006; 47(8): 676-678