Systemic inflammatory response syndrome score at admission independently predicts infection in blunt trauma patients

Grant V. Bochicchio, Lena M. Napolitano, Manjari Joshi, Robert J. McCarter, Thomas M. Scalea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Background: Systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) score has been demonstrated to be an accurate predictor of outcome in critical surgical illness. To our knowledge, there is a paucity of data using SIRS score as a tool to predict posttraumatic infection. Our goal was to determine whether the severity of SIRS score at admission is an accurate predictor of infection in trauma patients. Methods: Prospective data were collected on 4,887 blunt trauma patients admitted to a primary adult resource center designated trauma center over an 18-month period. Patients were stratified by age and Injury Severity Score (ISS). SIRS score was calculated at admission. SIRS was defined as an SIRS score ≥ 2. Each patient was screened for infection by an infectious disease specialist. Those at high risk for infection were then monitored daily throughout their hospitalization. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines were used to diagnose infection. Results: Of the 4,887 patients, 1,850 (38%) were admitted > 24 hours and evaluated for subsequent infection (mean ISS, 16 ± 9; mean age, 43 ± 19, SD). Thirty-one percent (577) of the patients acquired an infection. The mean hospital length of stay (20.2 days vs. 6.5 days) and mortality (7.8% vs. 2.7%) were significantly greater in the infected group (p < 0.001). Of the four SIRS variables (temperature, heart rate, white blood cell count, and respiratory rate), hypothermia and leukocytosis were the most significant predictors of infection (p < 0.001) when adjusted for age and ISS. SIRS scores of ≥ 2 were increasingly predictive of infection when analyzed by multiple logistic regression analysis. Conclusion: An admission SIRS score of ≥ 2 is a significant independent predictor of infection and outcome in blunt trauma. Daily SIRS scores may be a meaningful method of assessing postinjury risk of infection, and may initiate earlier diagnostic intervention for determination of infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)817-820
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001


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