AT CSRS 2015

SAN DIEGO (FRONTLINE MEDICAL NEWS) – The overall rate of hospital-acquired pneumonia following cervical spinal cord injury is about 20%, results from a study of national data demonstrated.

“Cervical spinal cord injury patients are at an increased risk for the development of hospital-acquired pneumonia,” lead study author Dr. Pablo J. Diaz-Collado said in an interview after the annual meeting of the Cervical Spine Research Society.

“Complete cord injuries, longer length of stay, ICU stay and ventilation time lead to significantly increased risk of HAP, which then leads to poor inpatient outcomes,” he said. “It is of crucial importance to keep these risk factors in mind when treating patients with cervical spinal cord injuries. There is a need to optimize the management protocols for these patients to help prevent the development of HAPs.”

Dr. Diaz-Collado, an orthopedic surgery resident at Yale–New Haven (Conn.) Hospital, and his associates identified 5,198 cervical spinal cord injury patients in the 2011 and 2012 National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB) to analyze risk factors for the development of HAP and inpatient outcomes in this population. They used multivariate logistic regression to identify independent associations of various risk factors with the occurrence of HAP.

The researchers found that the overall incidence of HAP among cervical spinal cord injury patients was 20.5%, which amounted to 1,065 patients. Factors independently associated with HAP were complete spinal cord injuries (compared to central cord injuries; OR 1.44; P = .009); longer inpatient length of stay (OR 3.08 for a stay that lasted 7-13 days, OR 10.21 for 21-27 days, and OR 14.89 for 35 days or more; P = .001 or less for all associations); longer ICU stay (OR 2.86 for a stay that lasted 9-11 days, OR 3.05 for 12-14 days, and OR 2.94 for 15 days or more; P less than .001 for all associations), and longer time on mechanical ventilation (OR 2.68 for ventilation that lasted 3-6 days, OR 3.76 for 7-13 days, OR 3.98 for 14-20 days, and OR 3.99 for 21 days or more; P less than .001 for all associations).

After the researchers controlled for all other risk factors, including patient comorbidities, Injury Severity Score, and other inpatient complications, HAP was associated with increased odds of death (OR 1.60; P = .005), inpatient adverse events (OR 1.65; P less than .001), discharge to an extended-care facility (OR 1.93; P = .001), and longer length of stay (a mean of an additional 10.93 days; P less than .001).

Dr. Diaz-Collado acknowledged that the study is “limited by the quality of the data entry. In addition, the database does not include classifications of fractures, and thus stratification of the analysis in terms of the different kinds of fractures in the cervical spine is not possible. Finally, procedural codes are less accurate and thus including whether or not patients underwent a surgical intervention is less reliable.”

Dr. Diaz-Collado reported having no financial disclosures.


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