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Current Trauma Reports

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 315–323 | Cite as

Infectious Complications After Battlefield Injuries: Epidemiology, Prevention, and Treatment

  • Heather C. YunEmail author
  • Dana M. Blyth
  • Clinton K. Murray
The Military Perspective (MJ Martin and M Schreiber, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on The Military Perspective

Abstract

Purpose of Review

Recent conflicts have resulted in an unprecedented proportion of survivors of complex battlefield injuries. These patients are predisposed to infectious complications with multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs). The epidemiology, prevention, and treatment of these infections are described, with emphasis on recent literature.

Recent Findings

Data from the Trauma Infectious Disease Outcomes Study (TIDOS) cohort have revealed a 27% rate of infectious complications in those evacuated after traumatic injury; this increases to 50% in the intensive care unit. Acinetobacter baumannii-calcoaceticus was common in casualties injured in Iraq, but was replaced by other extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae as well as fungi in casualties from Afghanistan. Prevention of infections includes short courses of narrow-spectrum prophylactic antimicrobials and infection control; the mainstay of wound infection prevention is debridement and irrigation. Treatment of many infections is primarily surgical and antimicrobial therapy directed against expected and recovered pathogens.

Summary

Infections after combat trauma are common and complex, requiring a multidisciplinary approach to prevention and care.

Keywords

Combat trauma Military medicine Trauma Infection Infection prevention Drug-resistant organism 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest and no funding source was used in the preparation of this manuscript.

Disclaimer

The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of Brooke Army Medical Center, the US Army Medical Department, the US Army Office of the Surgeon General, the Department of the Air Force, the Department of the Army, or the Department of Defense or the US Government.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Copyright information

© US Government (outside the USA) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heather C. Yun
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Dana M. Blyth
    • 1
    • 2
  • Clinton K. Murray
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.San Antonio Military Medical CenterFort Sam HoustonUSA
  2. 2.Uniformed Services University of the Health SciencesBethesdaUSA

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