Mortality risk of surgically managing orthopaedic trauma during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Bone Jt Open. 2021 May;2(5):330-336. doi: 10.1302/2633-1462.25.BJO-2020-0189.R1.


AIMS: It is imperative to understand the risks of operating on urgent cases during the COVID-19 (SARS-Cov-2 virus) pandemic for clinical decision-making and medical resource planning. The primary aim was to determine the mortality risk and associated variables when operating on urgent cases during the COVID-19 pandemic. The secondary objective was to assess differences in the outcome of patients treated between sites treating COVID-19 and a separate surgical site.

METHODS: The primary outcome measure was 30-day mortality. Secondary measures included complications of surgery, COVID-19 infection, and length of stay. Multiple variables were assessed for their contribution to the 30-day mortality. In total, 433 patients were included with a mean age of 65 years; 45% were male, and 90% were Caucasian.

RESULTS: Overall mortality was 7.6% for all patients and 15.9% for femoral neck fractures. The mortality rate increased from 7.5% to 44.2% in patients with fracture neck of femur and a COVID-19 infection. The COVID-19 rate in the 30-day postoperative period was 11%. COVID-19 infection, age, and Charlson Comorbidity Index were independent risk factor for mortality.

CONCLUSION: There was a significant risk of contracting COVID-19 due to being admitted to hospital. Using a site which was not treating COVID-19 respiratory patients for surgery did not identify a difference with respect to mortality, nosocomial COVID-19 infection, or length of stay. The COVID-19 pandemic significantly increases perioperative mortality risk in patients with fractured neck of femora but patients with other injuries were not at increased risk. Cite this article: Bone Jt Open 2021;2(5):330-336.

PMID:34027674 | DOI:10.1302/2633-1462.25.BJO-2020-0189.R1