A Comparison of Patients from Argentina and Germany to Assess Factors Impacting Brachial Plexus and Brain Injury
24 April 2019
20 May 2019
13 August 2019 (online)
Background Traumatic brachial plexus injuries (BPIs) represent a major cause of disability in young patients. The purpose of this study was to compare two populations (from Argentina and Germany) who suffered a traumatic BPI after a motorcycle accident to identify predictors of BPI and brain injury severity.
Methods Univariate and multivariable intergroup comparisons were conducted, and odds ratios were calculated to assess the associations between the different demographic, morphometric, and trauma-related variables, and the type and severity of patients' injuries. Pearson correlation coefficients were generated to identify statistically significant correlations.
Results A total of 187 patients were analyzed, 139 from Argentina and 48 from Germany. The two countries differed significantly in age and several morphometric and trauma-related variables. The clinical presentation was also convincingly different in the two countries. The following three variables remained as statistically significant predictors of a complete (vs. partial) BPI: living in Argentina (p < 0.001), presenting prior to 2015 (p = 0.004), and greater estimated speed at the time of impact (p = 0.074). As for BPIs, a disproportionate percentage (85.6%) of more severe brain injuries occurred in Argentinian patients (p < 0.001) and among those whose accident involved striking a stationary vertical object.
Conclusions This study identified several factors that might be considered when planning governmental policies and education initiatives to reduce BPI and brain injuries related to motorcycle use.
Level of evidence II-2 (evidence obtained from case–control studies).
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