Initial management of severe burn injury

Shawn Tejiram, Kathleen S Romanowski, Tina L Palmieri
Current Opinion in Critical Care 2019, 25 (6): 647-652

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Patients with severe burn injuries pose significant challenges for the intensivist. Though average burn sizes have decreased over time, severe burn injuries involving greater than 20% of the total body surface area still occur. Verified burn centers are limited, making the management of severely burn injured patients at nonspecialized ICUs likely. Current practices in burn care have increased survivability even from massive burns. It is important for intensivists to be aware of the unique complications and therapeutic options in burn critical care management. This review critically discusses current practices and recently published data regarding the evaluation and management of severe burn injury.

RECENT FINDINGS: Burn patients have long, complex ICU stays with accompanying multiorgan dysfunction. Recent advances in burn intensive care have focused on acute respiratory distress syndrome from inhalation injury, acute kidney injury (AKI), and transfusion, resulting in new strategies for organ failure, including renal replacement therapy and extracorporeal life support.

SUMMARY: Initial evaluation and treatment of acute severe burn injury remains an ongoing area of study. This manuscript reviews current practices and considerations in the acute management of the severely burn injured patient.

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