Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Association of traumatic brain injury severity and time to definitive care in three low-middle-income European countries


Background Low-middle-income countries experience among the highest rates of traumatic brain injury in the world. Much of this burden may be preventable with faster intervention, including reducing the time to definitive care. This study examines the relationship between traumatic brain injury severity and time to definitive care in major trauma hospitals in three low-middle-income countries.

Methods A prospective traumatic brain injury registry was implemented in six trauma hospitals in Armenia, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova for 6 months in 2019. Brain injury severity was measured using the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) at admission. Time to definitive care was the time from injury until arrival at the hospital. Cox proportionate hazards models predicted time to care by severity, controlling for age, sex, mechanism, mode of transportation, location of injury and country.

Results Among 1135 patients, 749 (66.0%) were paediatric and 386 (34.0%) were adults. Falls and road traffic were the most common mechanisms. A higher proportion of adult (23.6%) than paediatric (5.4%) patients had GCS scores indicating moderate (GCS 9–11) or severe injury (GCS 0–8) (p<0.001). Less severe injury was associated with shorter times to care, while more severe injury was associated with longer times to care (HR=1.05, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.09). Age interacted with time to care, with paediatric cases receiving faster care.

Conclusions Implementation of standard triage and transport protocols may reduce mortality and improve outcomes from traumatic brain injury, and trauma systems should focus on the most severe injuries.

  • traumatic brain injury
  • registry
  • global

Data availability statement

Deidentified and concatenated data can be available from the corresponding author on request.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.