NYMC Faculty Publications


The Roles of Early Surgery and Comorbid Conditions on Outcomes of Severe Necrotizing Soft-Tissue Infections

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October 2019




PURPOSE: Severe necrotizing soft-tissue infections (NSTIs) require immediate early surgical treatment to avoid adverse outcomes. This study aims to determine the impact of early surgery and comorbid conditions on the outcomes of NSTIs. METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was performed on all subjects presenting with NSTI at an academic medical center between 2005 and 2016. Patients were identified based on ICD codes. Those under the age of 18 or with intraoperative findings not consistent with NSTI diagnosis were excluded. RESULTS: There were 115 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of NSTI with a mean age of 55 +/- 18 years; 41% were females and 55% were diabetics. Thirty percent of patients underwent early surgery (/= 6 h) had prolonged hospital stay (38 vs. 23 days, p < 0.008) in comparison to the early group (< 6 h). With every 1 h delay in time to surgery, there is a 0.268 day increase in length of stay, adjusted for these other variables: alcohol abuse, number of debridements, peripheral vascular disease, previous infection and clinical necrosis. Mortality was 16.5%. Multivariable analysis revealed that alcohol abuse, peripheral vascular disease, diabetes, obesity, hypothyroidism, and presence of COPD were associated with an increase in mortality. CONCLUSIONS: Early surgical intervention in patients with severe necrotizing soft-tissue infections reduces length of hospital stay. Presence of comorbid conditions such as alcohol abuse, peripheral vascular disease, diabetes, obesity and hypothyroidism were associated with increased mortality.