Human immunodeficiency virus infection in trauma patients: where do we stand?

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OBJECTIVE: The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic is a growing health care problem. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between HIV infection and trauma patient treatment, complications, and mortality.

METHODS: The Pennsylvania Trauma Outcome Study database was used to identify trauma patients with known HIV-positive status (HP) and randomly selected age-matched controls (CL). Demographics, Injury Severity Score, Glasgow Coma Scale score, mechanism of injury, preexisting conditions, complications, mortality, hospital length of stay (HLOS), intensive care unit length of stay (ILOS), and operative interventions were compared.

RESULTS: Demographics, vital signs on presentation, and Injury Severity Score were similar between the HP and CL groups. There was no difference in mortality between the two groups (3.6% vs. 3.1%, p = 0.6447). HP patients were more likely to present with penetrating injuries (22.6% vs. 15.8%, p < 0.0031) and had significantly fewer major orthopedic injuries than CL patients (p < 0.01). HP patients were more likely to have a history of a neurologic condition; chronic drug/alcohol use; psychiatric diagnosis; or liver, pulmonary, and/or renal disease (all p < 0.01). HP patients had more pulmonary complications (12.3% vs. 4.1%), renal complications, and infectious/septic complications (all p < 0.01) than controls. Infection/sepsis and pulmonary complications were associated with significant mortality in HP patients. HP patients underwent more thoracostomies (7.5% vs. 4.4%, p = 0.0235) and exploratory laparotomies (7.0% vs. 2.4%, p = 0.0002). HLOS (10.2 +/- 10 vs. 6.8 +/- 8.6 days, p = 0.001) and ILOS (2.3 +/- 7.2 vs. 1.5 +/- 4.9 days, p = 0.0178) were greater for HP patients. HP patients were less likely than controls to be discharged directly to home (67.8% vs. 82.7%, p = 0.0001).

CONCLUSION: HP patients had more preexisting conditions and complications than controls. There was no difference in overall mortality between the two groups. However, pulmonary/infectious complications were associated with significant mortality in HP patients. HP patients consumed more health care resources than controls, as exemplified by greater ILOS and HLOS and more operative procedures.





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Medicine and Health Sciences




Department of Medicine

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