The Impact of Pre-Trauma Steroid Use on Wound Healing and Outcomes

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The American Surgeon


This study presents data on pre-trauma steroid use, a topic underrepresented in the trauma literature. Long-term steroid use has been linked to impaired wound healing, compromised immune responses, and hindrance of bone healing, alongside the potential for adrenal insufficiency during traumatic events. The aim of this study was to conduct a retrospective analysis of clinical outcomes for trauma patients with chronic steroid use. Examining adult trauma cases with pre-trauma steroid use at a level 1 trauma center (January 2016-September 2023), we identified 18 patients (58.6 ± 19.4 years, 55.6% males). All were on prednisone prior to trauma activation and 66.7% had autoimmune disease. Complications included orthopedic fractures (72.2%), ICU admissions (16.7%), and low mortality (5.6%). Future larger, multi-center studies are needed to determine the impact of immunosuppression and pre-trauma steroids on clinical outcomes.

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