Kinetic therapy beds are associated with more complications in patients with thoracolumbar spinal column injuries

Jeffrey G. Chipman, Jodie H. Taylor, Melissa Thorson, David E. Skarda, Gregory J. Beilman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background and Purpose: Traumatic spine injuries are an important cause of morbidity and mortality. Kinetic therapy (KT) beds were designed to minimize skin breakdown and enhance clearance of pulmonary secretions by rotating the patient from side to side. However, little evidence exists to suggest that fewer complications occur in patients with thoracolumbar spine injuries (TLSIs) treated preoperatively with a KT bed. We investigated the effect of KT bed use on infectious complications and respiratory failure in patients requiring surgery for TLSIs. Methods: We queried the trauma registry of a Level 1 trauma center for patients who had surgery for a TLSI from January 1, 1994, through June 30, 2001, and performed a retrospective medical record review. Patients were divided into two groups according to whether they were treated with a KT bed preoperatively. Patient data included age, injury severity score (ISS), admission Glasgow Coma Scale score (GCS), time to surgery, narcotics administered in total and during the first 24 h after injury, the lowest recorded systolic blood pressure, and acute resuscitation volume requirement. Outcome data included infectious complications, neurologic deficits, respiratory failure, hospital length of stay (LOS), and number of days of ventilator support. Infectious complications included pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and surgical site infections. Results: Patients treated with a KT bed and patients treated with a conventional bed were similar in age, ISS, admission GCS, time to surgery, total narcotics administered, lowest recorded systolic blood pressure, and resuscitation requirement during the first 24 h. However, patients with neurologic deficits were more frequently treated with a KT bed. Infectious complications were more common in patients receiving KT bed therapy than among those on conventional beds. The incidence of respiratory failure, the number of days of ventilator support, and hospital LOS also were significantly higher in patients treated with KT beds. The variables most predictive of infectious complications were the number of days of ventilator support, the amount of fluid administered during the first 24 h, and KT bed therapy (r 2 = 0.459). Conclusions: Patients with TLSIs treated with a KT bed had a higher incidence of infectious complications and respiratory failure and more days of ventilator support than patients treated with a conventional bed despite similar ISS and time to surgical repair. The longer hospital LOS in patients treated with a KT bed may be secondary to the higher incidence of infectious complications and respiratory failure and the greater number of days of ventilator support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-518
Number of pages6
JournalSurgical infections
Volume7
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2006

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