Risk factors for infection identified in patients with traumatic lacerations

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Last Updated: 2001-07-20 15:42:25 EDT (Reuters Health)

WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) – Several patient and wound characteristics of traumatic lacerations are associated with an increased likelihood of infection, according to a report in the July issue of Academic Emergency Medicine.

Dr. Judd E. Hollander, of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study of 5521 consecutive patients who had traumatic lacerations repaired over a 4-year period. Infection developed in 195 patients (3.5%).

A history of diabetes mellitus and the presence of a foreign body increased the risk of wound infection, with odds ratios of 6.7 and 2.6, respectively. Older age and wider lacerations were also associated with an increased infection rate. A laceration on the head/neck and a blunt mechanism of injury were associated with a decreased risk of wound infection.

"This knowledge may be valuable for determining whether various methods of wound cleansing, debridement, and repair can improve the outcome of patients with traumatic lacerations," Dr. Hollander and colleagues conclude.

Acad Emerg Med 2001;8:716-720.

-Westport Newsroom 203 319 2700

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