Management of the Patient With Thermal Injuries
- NICOLE S. GIBRAN, MD, FACS
- MICHAEL J. MOSIER, MD, FACS, FCCM
Optimal care of the burn patient requires not only specialized equipment but also, more importantly, a team of dedicated surgeons, nurses, therapists, nutritionists, pharmacists, social workers, psychologists, and operating room staff. Burn care was one of the first specialties to adopt a multidisciplinary approach, and over the past 30 years, burn centers have decreased burn mortality by coordinating prehospital patient management, resuscitation methods, and surgical and critical care of patients with major burns. This review covers where to treat burn patients, fluid management, airway management, temperature regulation, airway control, nutrition, anemia, pain management, deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis, and putting it all together: an algorithmic approach to early care of the burn-injured patient. Figures show that the size of a burn can be estimated by means of the Rule of Nines, which assigns percentages of total body surface to the head, the extremities, and the front and back of the torso, the approach to the burn patient in the first 24 hours, and the approach to the burn patient during the second to fifth days after burn injury. Tables list American Burn Association criteria for burn injuries that warrant referral to a burn unit, criteria for outpatient management of burn patients, acute physiologic changes during burn resuscitation, acute biochemical and hematologic changes during burn resuscitation, measures of pulmonary function, mechanisms of pulmonary dysfunction and indications for mechanical ventilation, clinical manifestations of carbon monoxide poisoning, half-life of carbon monoxide–hemoglobin bonds with inhalation therapy, increased acute kidney injury in patients treated with hydroxocobalamin for suspected inhalation injury, clinical findings associated with specific inhaled products of combustion, bronchoscopic criteria used to grade inhalation injury, and formulas for estimating caloric needs in burn patients.
This review contains 3 highly rendered figures, 12 tables, and 134 references