Panamerican Journal of Trauma, Critical Care & Emergency Surgery

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VOLUME 10 , ISSUE 3 ( September-December, 2021 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

Chest Computed Tomography for Screening Suspected Cases of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Trauma Patients

Camila R Guetter, Rebeca T Iurkiewiecz, Matheus S Evangelista, Gabriel M Nogueira, Leonardo K Rafael, Silvania K Pimentel, Fabio Henrique De Carvalho

Keywords : Computed tomography, Coronavirus infections, COVID-19, Observational study, Protocols, Surgery, Trauma surgery care

Citation Information : Guetter CR, Iurkiewiecz RT, Evangelista MS, Nogueira GM, Rafael LK, Pimentel SK, De Carvalho FH. Chest Computed Tomography for Screening Suspected Cases of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Trauma Patients. Panam J Trauma Crit Care Emerg Surg 2021; 10 (3):101-106.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10030-1358

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 18-01-2022

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2021; The Author(s).


Aim: To describe an institution's experience with the implementation of a chest computed tomography (CT) protocol to screen suspected cases of COVID-19 among trauma patients. Materials and methods: This is a longitudinal observational study, which was carried during 67 days of the COVID-19 pandemic. We included all adult trauma patients, who underwent chest CT at admission. According to the screening protocol, all patients with moderate/severe trauma requiring hospitalization and/or surgery underwent chest CT. Imaging suggestive of COVID-19 led to activation of infection control protocols in the operating room and during hospitalization. We performed univariate analysis to compare patients according to indication of chest CT (trauma mechanism or COVID-19 protocol). Results: We included 352 patients. Mean age was 44.95 years, 74.64% were male. Most patients (72.16%) underwent chest CT due to mechanism of trauma. Nine (2.35%) patients had CT scans suggestive of COVID-19, seven of which were performed based on the screening protocol. Among these nine patients, three were symptomatic for COVID-19 and one had laboratory confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 infection. With respect to the patient subgroups according to CT scan indication, difference was observed regarding body injury location (p = 0.000), presence of COVID-19 symptoms (p = 0.014) and prevalence of altered imaging findings (p = 0.000). Conclusion: Although further validation for this purpose is needed, chest CT has shown to be an important tool for screening suspected cases of COVID-19 in the context of trauma surgery. Clinical significance: Improvement of COVID-19 screening in trauma settings can allow better allocation of resources and minimize viral transmission.

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