Proposed Treatment Algorithm For Invasive Fungal Infections In Trauma Patients

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Surgical Infections


Background: Invasive fungal infections, most commonly caused by Mucorales species, are an underrecognized sequalae of traumatic injury that can complicate management of patients. The injury mechanism can introduce environmental spores into areas of the body normally not exposed to pathogens and this inoculation can progress rapidly to severe disease. The objective of this study was to present a case series of four trauma patients with invasive fungal infections that was used to develop an algorithm for work-up and treatment of these complex patients in future admissions. Patients and Methods: Four trauma patients who developed mucormycosis from two different hospitals are presented. One patient succumbed to their injuries whereas three were able to clear their infection with medical and surgical intervention. The surviving patients all had an infection of their lower extremity whereas the deceased patient had more extensive disease involving the thorax. Conclusions: Mucormycosis is a rare but significant post-trauma complication with substantial morbidity and mortality. Surgeons should be aware of this complication and maintain a high clinical suspicion because afflicted patients may not match the traditional clinical picture of a mucormycosis-susceptible patient. Close coordination with a pathology service is required for confirmation of the diagnosis and timely intervention can prevent debilitating loss of tissue or death. Additionally, consideration should be given to newer treatment modalities for management such as local tissue irrigation with an antifungal agent.

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