New York: Covid-19 positive patients with traumatic injuries, such as from car crashes, falls or other accidents, or those who were victims of violent injuries such as gunshots and stabbings, are six times more at risk of death and complication than such patients without the deadly infectious disease, research shows.
The study, by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania in the US, showed that Covid positive patients also demonstrated double the likelihood of complications such as venous thromboembolism, renal failure, need for intubation, and unplanned ICU admission, as well as more than five times the odds of pulmonary complications. These risks were even greater in patients over age 65.
“Covid-19 had the largest impact on patients whose injuries were relatively minor, and who we would have otherwise expected to do well,” said lead author Elinore Kaufman, Assistant Professor at the varsity’s Perelman School of Medicine.
“Our findings underscore how important it is for hospitals to consistently test admitted patients, so that providers can be aware of this additional risk and treat patients with extra care and vigilance,” Kaufman added.
For the study, published in The Journal of Trauma and Acute Surgery, the team conducted a retrospective study of 15,550 patients admitted to Pennsylvania trauma centers from March 21 to July 31, 2020.
Of the 15,550 patients, 8,170 were tested for the virus, and 219 tested positive. During this period, the researchers found that rates of testing increased over time, from 34 per cent in April 2020 to 56 per cent in July.
“First, we need to investigate how to best care for these high-risk patients, and establish standard protocols to minimise risks,” said senior author Niels D. Martin, chief of Surgical Critical Care and an associate professor in the division of Trauma, Surgical Critical Care and Emergency Surgery.
“Second, we need more data on the risks associated with patients who present symptoms of Covid, versus those who are asymptomatic, so we can administer proven treatments appropriately and increase the likelihood of survival with minimal complications,” Martin said.