Injured patients who tested positive for COVID-19 had an odds of death six times higher than uninfected trauma patients, researchers found. COVID-positive trauma patients also had twice the odds of any complication.
The study was based on data collected by trauma centers designated by the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation (PTSF). It examined more than 15,000 trauma patients treated between March 21 and July 31, 2020. The results were recently published ahead of print in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery.
The researchers used coarsened exact matching to compare COVID-positive patients and COVID-negative patients. The results showed that trauma patients who tested positive for COVID-19 had:
- Increased risk of death (OR 6.05)
- Increased risk of any complication (OR 1.85)
- Increased risk of pulmonary complications (OR 5.79)
The study showed that patients age 65 and older were more likely to die if they tested positive for COVID-19.
The authors also noted that COVID-19 infection had the greatest impact on patients with relatively minor injuries and those with a low-energy mechanism of injury.
“This is likely because the injuries themselves had a greater impact when they were more severe, while COVID-19 infection had a greater effect on those with a high probability of survival from injury factors alone,” the researchers wrote.
Robert Fojut is the editor of Trauma System News.