The impact of antiplatelet drugs on trauma outcomes

Victor A. Ferraris, Andrew C. Bernard, Brannon Hyde, Paul A. Kearney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Antiplatelet drugs (APDs) are among the most commonly prescribed medications.We wondered whether patients with trauma receiving preinjury APD have worse outcomes. METHODS: We interrogated our institutional database during a 5-year period to evaluate preoperative risks and trauma outcomes in patients taking APDs before traumatic injury. We used propensity balancing scores to adjust for preoperative risks in assessing outcomes in APD-treated patients. RESULTS: During a 5-year period, 1,327 (11.7%) of 11,374 adult patients with trauma took APDs before injury. The yearly use of APD in patients with trauma increased nearly threefold during the study period. Cardiac, pulmonary, and renal comorbidities were significantly more common in APD-treated patients. Multivariate regression indicated that preinjury APDs predicted significantly worse composite morbidity and mortality. After propensity adjustment for preinjury risk factors, APD-treated patients demonstrated significantly increased composite morbidity (39.0 vs. 24.6%, p = 0.037) and cardiac complications (23.0 vs. 17.3%, p = 0.017) compared with patients without APDs. The type and intensity of APD conferred an incremental risk, with patients taking dual APDs having a significantly worse multivariate risk of adverse outcomes compared with patients taking a single APD. CONCLUSION: APD-treated patients with trauma have significantly more comorbidities compared with those not taking APDs. After adjusting for preoperative risks, APD-treated patients have significantly worse trauma outcomes. Dual APD treatment confers an incremental risk of adverse outcomes compared with single APD preinjury treatment. The number of patients with trauma taking APDs increased during the 5-year study period, so we speculate that trauma management of patients taking APDs will occur more commonly in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)492-497
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Trauma
  • antiplatelet drugs
  • cardiac risk factors
  • mortality
  • propensity analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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