Background: The Laboratory Risk Indicator for Necrotizing Fasciitis (LRINEC) score may distinguish necrotizing soft tissue infection (NSTI) from non-NSTI. The association of higher preoperative LRINEC scores with escalations of intraoperative anesthesia care in NSTI is unknown and may be useful in communicating illness severity during patient handoffs.
Materials and methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of first operative debridement for suspected NSTI in a single referral center from 2013 to 2016. We assessed the association between LRINEC score and vasopressors, blood products, crystalloid, invasive monitoring, and minutes of operative and anesthesia care.
Results: We captured 332 patients undergoing their first operative debridement for suspected NSTI. For every 1-point higher LRINEC score, there was a higher risk of norepinephrine and vasopressin use (relative risk [RR] = 18%, 95% confidence interval [CI] [10%, 26%] and [10%, 27%], respectively), packed red blood cell use (RR = 28% [95% CI 13%, 45%]), and additional crystalloid (17.57 mL/h [95% CI 0.37, 34.76]). Each additional LRINEC point was associated with longer anesthesia (3.42 min, 95% CI 0.94, 5.91) and operative times (2.35 min, 95% CI 0.29, 4.40) and a higher risk of receiving invasive arterial monitoring (RR 1.11, 95% CI 1.05, 1.18). The negative predictive value for an LRINEC score < 6 was > 90% for use of vasopressors and packed red blood cells.
Conclusions: Preoperative LRINEC scores were associated with escalations in intraoperative care in patients with NSTI. A low score may predict patients unlikely to require vasopressors or blood and may be useful in standardized handoff tools for patients with NSTI.
Keywords: Escalations of care; LRINEC score; NSTI; Necrotizing soft tissue infection.
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