Risk factors of pneumonia in traumatic spinal-cord-injured patients
Pneumonia is a well-documented and common respiratory infection in patients with acute traumatic spinal cord injuries, and may recur during the course of acute care. Using data from the North American Clinical Trials Network (NACTN) for Spinal Cord Injury, the incidence, timing, and recurrence of pneumonia were analyzed. The two main objectives were (1) to investigate the time and potential risk factors for the first occurrence of pneumonia using the Cox Proportional Hazards model, and (2) to investigate pneumonia recurrence and its risk factors using a Counting Process model that is a generalization of the Cox Proportional Hazards model. The results from survival analysis suggested that surgery, intubation, American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) grade, direct admission to a NACTN site and age (older than 65 or not) were significant risks for first event of pneumonia and multiple events of pneumonia. The significance of this research is that it has the potential to identify patients at the time of admission who are at high risk for the incidence and recurrence of pneumonia. Knowledge and the time of occurrence of pneumonias are important factors for the development of prevention strategies and may also provide some insights into the selection of emerging therapies that compromise the immune system.