1. NeSmith, Elizabeth G. MSN, PhD, RN
  2. Weinrich, Sally P. PhD, RN, FAAN
  3. Andrews, Jeannette O. PhD, APRN-BC
  4. Medeiros, Regina S. DNP, MHSA, RN, CCRN
  5. Hawkins, Michael L. MD, FACS
  6. Weinrich, Martin C. PhD
  7. Jones, Rosalind DNP, PMHCNS-BC


The purpose of this research was to evaluate the effect of substance use on the occurrence of systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) and severity following trauma. A total of 600 charts from a level 1 trauma center were screened (N = 246). Patients positive for ethyl alcohol had more occurrences of SIRS (P = .005) and more severe SIRS than other substance users (P = .0008). Patients positive for cannabis had less severe SIRS than other substance users (P = .02). Substance users could be at increased risk for poor SIRS-related outcomes (sepsis, organ failure) following trauma. Clinicians can use this information to identify high-risk patients early and tailor treatment strategies.