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High blood sugar linked to wound infection

NASHVILLE, July 29 (UPI) -- High blood sugar is a concern during the post-traumatic and post-operative period after an orthopaedic trauma and total joint replacement, U.S. researchers say.

Dr. Rondi M. Kauffmann, Division of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, in Nashville, said nearly, one-third of patients who were admitted to the hospital without a history of diabetes have hyperglycemia -- high blood sugar -- which is associated with a longer hospital stay, higher rates of admission to the intensive care unit and increased mortality.

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Study authors reviewed data on patients age 18 or older who had isolated orthopaedic injuries requiring acute operative intervention. Patients diagnosed with diabetes or who were in the ICU were not included in the study.

Of 790 patients, there were 268 open fractures -- the bone breaks through the skin -- and 21 surgical-site infections at 30-day follow-up. Age, race, co-morbidities, injury severity, and blood transfusion were not associated with surgical-site infections at 30 days, Kauffmann said.

The study also found surgical-site infections developed in 13 of 294 patients, who had more than one glucose value greater than or equal to 200 mg/dL and 8 of 496 patients without more than one glucose value greater than or equal to 200 mg/dL.

The authors concluded that hyperglycemia was an independent risk factor for 30-day surgical-site infections in orthopaedic trauma patients without a history of diabetes.

The findings were published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

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