Pathophysiology of Post-Injury Infection and Organ Failure
|By Grant E. O'Keefe, MD
Severe traumatic injury results in biochemical and physiological changes that can lead to nosocomial infection (pneumonia, wound infections, etc.) and remote organ (lung, kidney, liver) failure. In patients who survive beyond the initial few hours after injury, infection and organ failure (MODS; multiple organ dysfunction syndrome) are leading causes of death and contribute to prolonged and resource-intensive hospital stays. Our understanding of the biology of these complications is incomplete. We understand many of the clinical factors that predict who will develop post-traumatic infection and organ failure and know that a number of inflammatory markers are increased after injury and that many of these identify patients who progress to organ failure.
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