Delay in surgery, risk of hospital-treated infections and the prognostic impact of Comorbidity in hip fracture patients. A Danish nationwide cohort study, 2005-2016

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Purpose: We examined the association between delay in surgery and hospital-treated infections in hip fracture patients with and without known comorbidities. Patients and methods: All hip fracture patients aged ≥65 years registered in the Danish Multidisciplinary Hip Fracture Registry from 2005 to 2016 were included (n=72,520). Delay in surgery was defined as the time in hours from admission to surgery and was divided into 3 groups (12, 24 and 48 hrs). The outcomes were hospital-treated pneumonia, urinary tract infection and reoperation due to infection 0-30 days after surgery. As a measure of comorbidity, we used the Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI): None (no registered comorbidities prior to the fracture), medium (1-2 points) and high (≥3 points). Results: Overall, there was an association between a delay of 12 hrs and pneumonia. A delay of 12 hrs was associated with an increased risk of pneumonia in patients with no comorbidities (adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 1.20, confidence interval (CI) 1.03-1.40) and a delay of 24 hrs was associated with an increased risk of pneumonia in patients with a medium level of comorbidity (HR 1.12, CI (1.02-1.23)). Overall, delay was associated with reoperation due to infection, particularly among patients with comorbidities, although the confidence intervals of some of the estimates were wide. A delay of 48 hrs was associated with an increased risk of reoperation due to infection in patients with a high level of comorbidity (HR 2.36, CI 1.19-4.69). Conclusion: Delay in surgery was associated with an increased risk of hospital-treated pneumonia and reoperations due to infection within 30 days of surgery. The number of postoperative hospital-treated infections within 30 days may be reduced by continuously targeting pre-, per- and postoperative optimization not only for patients with high level of comorbidity but also for hip fracture patients without known comorbidities prior to surgery.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical epidemiology
Pages (from-to)383-395
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

    Research areas

  • Delay in surgery, Hip fracture, Pneumonia, Reoperation, Surgical site infectio, Urinary tract infection

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