Factors which influence the risk of wound infection in trauma patients

J. A. Weigelt, R. W. Haley, B. Seibert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Surgical wound infections following traumatic injury remain a source of morbidity and mortality. A simple system for estimating the risk of infectious complications was evaluated in 949 trauma patients requiring operative therapy. The majority of cases were caused by penetrating trauma (784). Truncal, neck, and extremity procedures were included. The overall wound infection rate was 7%. Infection rates were related to amount of bacterial contamination and mechanism of injury. Age, type of antibiotics, and delay time from injury to operation were not risk factors for any injury type. Wound classification, shock, blood loss, number of organs injured, and operative time were significant risk factors, but had different effects on infection rate related to injury type. Multivariate analysis revealed no significant infectious risk factors for stabwounds. Significant factors were wound class (p = 0.02) and shock (p = 0.001) for gunshot wounds, wound class (p = 0.03) and number of organs injured (p = 0.01) for blunt trauma, and blood loss (p = 0.01) for shotgun wounds. This classification system can be used to review outcome and compare trauma patient populations for infectious morbidity in a more uniform fashion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)774-781
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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