Elevated admission systolic blood pressure after blunt trauma predicts delayed pneumonia and mortality

Eric J. Ley, Matthew B. Singer, Morgan A. Clond, Alexandra Gangi, Jim Mirocha, Marko Bukur, Carlos V. Brown, Ali Salim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background:: Although avoiding hypotension is a primary focus after trauma, elevated systolic blood pressure (SBP) is frequently disregarded. The purpose of this study was to determine the association between elevated admission SBP and delayed outcomes after trauma. Methods:: The Los Angeles County Trauma System Database was queried for all patients between 2003 and 2008 with blunt injuries who survived for at least 2 days after admission. Demographics and outcomes (pneumonia and mortality) were compared at various admission SBP subgroups (≥160 mm Hg, ≥170 mm Hg, ≥180 mm Hg, ≥190 mm Hg, ≥200 mm Hg, ≥210 mm Hg, and ≥220 mm Hg). Patients with moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), defined as head Abbreviated Injury Score ≥3, were then identified and compared with those without using multivariable logistic regression. Result:: Data accessed from 14,382 blunt trauma admissions identified 2,601 patients with moderate-to-severe TBI (TBI group) and 11,781 without moderate-to-severe TBI (non-TBI group) who were hospitalized ≥2 days. Overall mortality was 2.9%, 7.1% for TBI patients, and 1.9% for non-TBI patients. Overall pneumonia was 4.6%, 9.5% for TBI patients, and 3.6% for non-TBI patients. Regression modeling determined SBP ≥160 mm Hg was a significant predictor of mortality in TBI patients (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.59; confidence interval [CI], 1.10-2.29; p = 0.03) and non-TBI patients (AOR, 1.47; CI, 1.14-1.90; p = 0.003). Similarly, SBP ≥160 mm Hg was a significant predictor for increased pneumonia in TBI patients (AOR, 1.79; CI, 1.30-2.46; p = 0.0004), compared with non-TBI patients (AOR, 1.28; CI, 0.97-1.69; p = 0.08). CONCLUSIONS:: In blunt trauma patients with or without TBI, elevated admission SBP was associated with worse delayed outcomes. Prospective research is necessary to determine whether algorithms that manage elevated blood pressure after trauma, especially after TBI, affect mortality or pneumonia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1689-1693
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011


  • Adrenergic activation
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Hypertension
  • Mortality
  • Pneumonia
  • Sympathetic hyperactivity
  • Trauma
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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