Those hospitalized for trauma who test positive for marijuana are considerably less likely to die during their stay than those who don’t, according to a new study.
For the study, published by The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, and published online by the National Institute of Health, researchers conducted a “5-year (2008-2012) analysis of adult trauma patients (>18 y/o) in Arizona State Trauma Registry”. They included “patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) with a positive toxicology screen for marijuana”,and excluded “patients with positive alcohol or other substance screening”. Outcome measures were “mortality, ventilator days, ICU [intensive care unit], and hospital Length of Stay (LOS)”. In total, 28,813 patients were included in the analysis.
Researchers determined that “Patients with a positive marijuana screen had a lower mortality rate (5.3 percent versus 8.9 percent) compared to patients with a negative marijuana screen”. On sub analysis of patients who received mechanical ventilation, “marijuana positive had a higher number of ventilator days (2d vs. 1d, p=0.02) and a lower mortality rate (7.3% vs. 16.1%, p<0.001) than those who were marijuana negative.”