OBJECTIVE: Among the elderly, use of antithrombotics (ATs), antiplatelets (APs; aspirin, clopidogrel), and/or anticoagulants (ACs; warfarin, direct oral ACs [DOACs; dabigatran, rivaroxaban, apixaban]) to prevent thromboembolic events must be carefully weighed against the risk of intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) with trauma. The goal of this study was to assess the risk of sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI), ICH, and poorer outcomes in relation to AT use among all patients 65 years or older presenting to a single institution with head trauma.
METHODS: Data were collected from all head trauma patients 65 years or older presenting to the authors’ supraregional tertiary trauma center over a 24-month period and included age, sex, injury mechanism, medical history, international normalized ratio, Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score, ICH presence and type, hospital admission, reversal therapy, surgery, discharge destination, Extended Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOSE) score at discharge, and mortality.
RESULTS: A total of 1365 head trauma patients 65 years or older were included; 724 were on AT therapy (413 on APs, 151 on ACs, 59 on DOACs, 48 on 2 APs, 38 on AP+AC, and 15 on AP+DOAC) and 641 were not. Among all head trauma patients, the risk of sustaining a TBI was associated with AP use after adjusting for covariates. Of the 731 TBI patients, those using ATs had higher rates of ICH (p