Does preinjury anticoagulation worsen outcomes among traumatic hemothorax patients? A nationwide retrospective analysis

Sai Krishna Bhogadi, Adam Nelson, Khaled El-Qawaqzeh, Audrey L. Spencer, Hamidreza Hosseinpour, Lourdes Castanon, Tanya Anand, Michael Ditillo, Louis J. Magnotti, Bellal Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Up to a quarter of all traumatic deaths are due to thoracic injuries. Current guidelines recommend consideration of evacuation of all hemothoraces with tube thoracostomy. The aim of our study was to determine the impact of pre-injury anticoagulation on outcomes of traumatic hemothorax patients. Materials and Methods: We performed a 4-year (2017 – 2020) analysis of the ACS-TQIP database. We included all adult trauma patients (age ≥18 years) presenting with hemothorax and no other severe injuries (other body regions <3). Patients with a history of bleeding disorders, chronic liver disease, or cancer were excluded from this study. Patients were stratified into two groups based on the history of preinjury anticoagulant use (AC, preinjury anticoagulant use: No-AC, no preinjury anticoagulant use). Propensity score matching (1:1) was done by adjusting for demographics, ED vitals, injury parameters, comorbidities, thromboprophylaxis type, and trauma center verification level. Outcome measures were interventions for hemothorax (chest tube, video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery [VATS]), reinterventions (chest tube > once), overall complications, hospital length of stay (LOS), and mortality. Results: A matched cohort of 6,962 patients (AC, 3,481; No-AC, 3,481) was analyzed. The median age was 75 years, and the median ISS was 10. The AC and No-AC groups were similar in terms of baseline characteristics. Compared to the No-AC group, AC group had higher rates of chest tube placement (46% vs 43%, p = 0.018), overall complications (8% vs 7%, p = 0.046), and longer hospital LOS (7[4–12] vs 6[3–10] days, p ≤ 0.001). Reintervention and mortality rates were similar between the groups (p>0.05). Conclusion: The use of preinjury anticoagulants in hemothorax patients negatively impacts patient outcomes. Increased surveillance is required while dealing with hemothorax patients on pre-injury anticoagulants, and consideration should be given to earlier interventions for such patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number110850
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • Chest tube
  • Hemothorax
  • Outcomes
  • Preinjury anticoagulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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