Diabetic Trauma Patients at Greater Risk of Complications

They are more likely to develop infections and be admitted to intensive care unit

TUESDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients hospitalized for trauma, those with diabetes mellitus are significantly more likely than non-diabetics to develop complications and require a higher level of care, which increases the cost of their hospitalization, according to study findings published in the July issue of the Archives of Surgery.

Rehan Ahmad, D.O., of the Pennsylvania State College of Medicine and Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Penn., and colleagues compared outcomes in 12,489 diabetics and 12,489 matched controls who were hospitalized for trauma between 1984 and 2002.

Although the researchers found no group differences in mortality rates or length of hospital stay, they found that the diabetics were more likely than the non-diabetics to experience any complication (23 percent versus 14 percent) or an infection (11.3 percent versus 6.3 percent). They also found that the diabetics were more likely to require care in the intensive care unit (38.4 percent versus 35.9 percent), a longer stay in the intensive care unit (7.6 days versus 6.1 days) and more extensive ventilator support (10.8 days versus 8.4 days).

"Future studies are needed to evaluate the effect of improved glycemic control on hospitalized patients with diabetes mellitus involved in trauma," the authors conclude.

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