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Injury. 2019 Oct 14. pii: S0020-1383(19)30609-6. doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2019.10.027. [Epub ahead of print]

Severe fungal infections following blunt traumatic injuries: A 5-year multicenter descriptive study.

Author information

1
Medical City Plano, Trauma Research Department, Plano, TX, United States; Wesley Medical Center, Trauma Research Department, Wichita, KS, United States; Research Medical Center, Trauma Research Department, Kansas City, MO, United States; St. Anthony Hospital, Trauma Research Department, Lakewood, CO, United States; Penrose Hospital, Trauma Research Department, Colorado Springs, CO, United States; Swedish Medical Center, Trauma Research Department, Englewood, CO, United States.
2
Medical City Plano, Trauma Services Department, Plano, TX, United States.
3
Wesley Medical Center, Trauma Services Department, Wichita, KS, United States.
4
Research Medical Center, Trauma Services Department, Kansas City, MO, United States.
5
St. Anthony Hospital, Trauma Services Department, Lakewood, CO, United States.
6
Penrose Hospital, Trauma Services Department, Colorado Springs, CO, United States.
7
Swedish Medical Center, Trauma Services Department, Englewood, CO, United States.
8
Medical City Plano, Trauma Research Department, Plano, TX, United States; Wesley Medical Center, Trauma Research Department, Wichita, KS, United States; Research Medical Center, Trauma Research Department, Kansas City, MO, United States; St. Anthony Hospital, Trauma Research Department, Lakewood, CO, United States; Penrose Hospital, Trauma Research Department, Colorado Springs, CO, United States; Swedish Medical Center, Trauma Research Department, Englewood, CO, United States. Electronic address: davidbme49@gmail.com.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

The aggressive and timely treatment of post-traumatic fungal infections is the most efficacious way to reduce morbidity and mortality. Compared to the military trauma population, studies reporting on fungal infections in civilian trauma are not well described. The purpose of this study was to describe characteristics of civilian trauma patients who developed fungal infections and to identify common risk factors and report any delays between injury and treatment.

METHODS:

This was a five-year (1/1/2013-3/1/2018) retrospective, descriptive study across six level 1 trauma centers. All consecutively admitted trauma patients (≥18 years) with laboratory-confirmed fungal wound infections were included. Patients with solely candida wound isolates were excluded. Patient demographics, clinical wound and infection characteristics, organisms cultured, treatment modalities, length of stay, in-hospital mortality, and any diagnostic or treatment delays were described.

RESULTS:

Of the 54,521 trauma patients screened for fungal infection, 12 were identified. All patients suffered major injuries after blunt trauma (abbreviated injury score 3-5) and sustained wound contamination, and in nine patients, the cause of injury was motor vehicle. Six had open wounds/fractures on admission. The geographical region with the highest rate of fungal infection was Texas (n = 7), followed by Kansas (N = 3), then Missouri (N = 2). First symptoms of infection (leukocytosis or fever (n = 10)) presented a median of 6.3 (4.1-9.8) days after injury. Wound management entailed a combination of debridements (n = 8), negative pressure wound therapy (n = 9), amputation (n = 6), and antifungal treatment (n = 10). All fungal isolates identified from the wound site were hyphomycetes. A median of 2.1 (1.8-4.0) days passed from diagnosis to first antifungal treatment, and 3 patients died.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our study shows the challenges surrounding diagnosis and treatment of fungal infections secondary to trauma. Non-specific fungal infection symptoms, such as leukocytosis and fever, typically presented a week after injury. Vigilance for investigating risk factors and infection symptoms may help clinicians with more timely management of trauma patients with a severe fungal infection.

KEYWORDS:

Blunt trauma; Fungal infection; Management; Post-traumatic; Risk factors

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