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Outcomes of Combined Opioids and Benzodiazepines Consumption in Elderly Trauma: A Retrospective Cohort Study.

American Surgeon 2024 June 6
BACKGROUND: Acute substance intoxication is associated with traumatic injury and worse hospital outcomes. The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between simultaneous opioids and benzodiazepines (OB) use and hospital outcomes in elderly trauma patients.

METHODS: We performed a retrospective analysis using the American College of Surgeons Trauma Quality Improvement Program (ACS-TQIP) 2017 database. We included trauma patients (age ≥ 65 years) examined by urine toxicology within 24 hours of presentation. The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality. Secondary outcomes included hospital and ICU lengths of stay (HLOS AND ICULOS), in-hospital complications (eg, ventilator-associated pneumonia), unplanned intubation, and duration of mechanical ventilation. Patients were stratified being both positive for opioids and benzodiazepines (OB+) or not (OB-) based on having positive or negative drug screen for both drugs, respectively. A 1:1 propensity score matching was performed controlling for demographics (eg, age and sex), comorbidities (eg, alcoholism), and injury characteristics.

RESULTS: Of 77,311 tested patients, 849 OB+ were matched to OB- patients. Compared to OB- group, OB+ patients were more likely to have unplanned intubation (26 [3.1%] vs 8 [0.9%], P = 0.002) and had prolonged HLOS (≥2 days: 683 [84.0%] vs 625 [77.8%], P = 0.002). There were no differences in all other outcomes ( P > 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: The OB intake is associated with higher incidence of unplanned intubation and longer HLOS in elderly trauma patients. Early identification of elderly trauma patient with OB+ can help provide necessary pharmacologic and behavioral interventions to treat their substance use and potentially improve outcomes.

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