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Drain Can Reduce Hematoma Recurrence and Mortality

Last Updated: September 25, 2009.

Placement of a soft silicon drain tube during the surgical procedure to drain a chronic subdural hematoma reduces both recurrence of the brain hematoma and mortality, according to a study in the Sept. 26 issue of The Lancet.

FRIDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Placement of a soft silicon drain tube during the surgical procedure to drain a chronic subdural hematoma reduces both recurrence of the brain hematoma and mortality, according to a study in the Sept. 26 issue of The Lancet.

Thomas Santarius, of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, randomized patients aged 18 years and older with a chronic subdural hematoma from one U.K. medical center to undergo burr-hole drainage and either placement of a drain tube or no drain. The study end point was hematoma recurrence requiring repeat drainage.

The researchers report that hematoma recurred in 10 of the 108 patients (9.3 percent) who had received the drain, and 26 of the 107 patients (24 percent) who had not. At six months follow-up, nine subjects had died in the group with drains and 19 had died in the group without drains. The trial was stopped early because of the clear benefit of reduced recurrence.

"These results are consistent with a positive effect of drains in prevention of postoperative recurrent collections, and their use could avoid repeated operations and additional time in hospital," the authors conclude.

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