The Impact of COVID-19 Infection on Outcomes After Injury in a State Trauma System

Previous studies have illustrated the probability of poor outcomes in COVID-19 patients undergoing orthopedic, elective, and general surgery. A recent study led by PISC Senior Scholar Elinore Kaufman, MD, MSHP, evaluated whether COVID-19 has a similar effect on the health outcomes of trauma patients. A retrospective cohort study was conducted from March 21st to July 31st, 2020. The study included 15,550 Pennsylvanian trauma patients, 2.7% of which tested positive for COVID-19. Results indicated that COVID-19 positive trauma patients are twice as likely to die than their negative counterparts, despite similar injury severity. Moreover, COVID-19 positive patients had consistently longer hospital stays than their negative counterparts. Kaufman and her team conclude that “trauma centers must incorporate an understanding of these risks into patient and family counseling and resource allocation during this pandemic.”

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