Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 279-285

The effect of illegal drug screening results and chronic drug use on perioperative complications in trauma


1 Department of Surgery, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
2 Department of Trauma, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. John T Culhane
Department of Surgery, Saint Louis University, 3635 Vista Ave., Saint Louis, Missouri 63110-2539
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/JETS.JETS_141_19

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Context: Illegal drug use and need for surgery are common in trauma. This allows examination of the effects of perioperative drug use. Aim: The aim was to study the effects of illegal drug use on perioperative complications in trauma. Setting and Design: Propensity-matched analysis of perioperative complications between drug screen-positive (DSP) and drug screen-negative (DSN) patients from the National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB). Methods: The NTDB reports drug screening as a composite. We compared complications for DSP, DSN, and specific chronic drug disorders. Time to first procedure was analyzed to determine whether delay to surgery was associated with reduced complications. Statistics: Logistic regression with 11 predictor variables was used to calculate propensity scores. Categorical and continuous variables were compared using Chi-square and Student’s t-test, respectively. Results: 752,343 patients (21.9%) were tested for illegal drugs. DSP was protective for mortality-relative risk (RR) 0.84 (P < 0.001) and arrhythmia RR 0.87 (P = 0.02). All complications (AC) were higher for DSP with a RR of 1.08 (P < 0.001). Cocaine, cannabis, and opioids were associated with reduced mortality. Cocaine was associated with increased myocardial infarction (MI). All four chronic drug disorders were associated with markedly higher arrhythmia. All except cannabis were associated with higher AC. Mortality was significantly lower for DSP for every time interval until first procedure. Continuous-time until procedure was associated with increased MI and arrhythmia. Conclusions: DSP was protective of mortality and cardiac complications. Drug disorders were protective for mortality but increased arrhythmia and AC. Delay until the surgery does not diminish cardiac or overall risk.


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