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Clinical Characteristics of Trauma Patients Requiring Hydrocortisone Treatment for Refractory Hypotension

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Corticosteroids play an important role in responding to physiologic stress in the human body. However, its application in critical care remains heavily debated. The purpose of this study was to identify patient characteristics associated with receiving stress-dose steroids during the intensive care unit stay after traumatic injury and its effect on in-hospital mortality. Patients admitted to the University of Virginia trauma center between January 1, 2011, and December 31, 2015, were identified using our Trauma Registry. Stress dose steroids were defined as 100 mg IV hydrocortisone every eight hours. Patients who received stress-dose steroids were identified using the Clinical Data Repository. Patient characteristics associated with increased likelihood of receiving stress-dose steroids during admission were age >65, diabetes mellitus, congestive heart failure, burn injuries, Injury Severity Score >15, lower blood pressure (141/80 vs 125/76 mm Hg), and higher heart rate (87 vs 94/min). Patients who received stress-dose steroids were found to have increased mortality but not after controlling for the aforementioned patient factors associated with increased likelihood of receiving stress-dose steroids. The use of stress-dose steroids in critically ill patients with refractory hypotension does not appear to affect in-hospital mortality.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA

Publication date: 01 August 2017

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