UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications

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Department of Emergency Medicine, Division of Medical Toxicology

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Emergency Medicine | Infectious Disease | Medical Toxicology | Trauma | Virus Diseases


In comparison to the general patient population, trauma patients show higher level detections of bloodborne infectious diseases, such as Hepatitis and Human Immunodeficiency Virus. In comparison to bloodborne pathogens, the prevalence of respiratory infections such as SARS-CoV-2 and how that relates with other variables, such as drug usage and trauma type, is currently unknown in trauma populations. Here, we evaluated SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity and antibody isotype profile in 2,542 trauma patients from six Level-1 trauma centers between April and October of 2020 during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. We found that the seroprevalence in trauma victims 18-44 years old (9.79%, 95% confidence interval/CI: 8.33 11.47) was much higher in comparison to older patients (45-69 years old: 6.03%, 4.59-5.88; 70+ years old: 4.33%, 2.54 – 7.20). Black/African American (9.54%, 7.77 – 11.65) and Hispanic/Latino patients (14.95%, 11.80 – 18.75) also had higher seroprevalence in comparison, respectively, to White (5.72%, 4.62 7.05) and Non-Latino patients (6.55%, 5.57 – 7.69). More than half (55.54%) of those tested for drug toxicology had at least one drug present in their system. Those that tested positive for narcotics or sedatives had a significant negative correlation with seropositivity, while those on anti-depressants trended positive. These findings represent an important consideration for both the patients and first responders that treat trauma patients facing potential risk of respiratory infectious diseases like SARS-CoV-2.


Infectious Diseases, SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, seroprevalence, trauma patients, first responders, risk

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The copyright holder for this preprint is the author/funder, who has granted medRxiv a license to display the preprint in perpetuity. This article is a US Government work. It is not subject to copyright under 17 USC 105 and is also made available for use under a CC0 license.

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Ngo TB, Karkanitsa M, Adusei KM, Graham LA, Ricotta EE, Darrah JR, Blomberg RD, Spathies J, Pauly KJ, Klumpp-Thomas C, Travers J, Mehalko J, Drew M, Hall MD, Memoli MJ, Esposito D, Kozar RA, Griggs C, Cunningham KW, Schulman CI, Crandall M, Neavyn M, Dorfman JD, Lai JT, Whitehill JM, Babu KM, Mohr NM, Van Heukelom J, Fell JC, Rooke W, Kalish H, Thomas FD, Sadtler K. SARS-CoV-2 Seroprevalence and Drug Use in Trauma Patients from Six Sites in the United States. medRxiv [Preprint]. 2021 Aug 11:2021.08.10.21261849. doi: 10.1101/2021.08.10.21261849. PMID: 34401892; PMCID: PMC8366813. Link to preprint on medRxiv.


This article is a preprint. Preprints are preliminary reports of work that have not been certified by peer review.

Full author list omitted for brevity. For the full list of authors, see preprint.

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