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Thrombosis incidence in major paediatric burns.

ANZ Journal of Surgery 2023 September 8
BACKGROUND: Major burns are associated with multiple risk factors for thrombosis such as decreased mobilization and systemic inflammation. It is unclear if these factors are offset by the inherent lower thrombosis risk in the paediatric patient. As such there is no consensus on thromboprophylaxis for paediatric burns patients, in contrast to this being a mainstay of treatment in the adult population. This retrospective cohort study examines the incidence of, and risk factors for, thrombotic events in major paediatric burns with a view to establish guidelines for prevention.

METHOD: Review of major paediatric burns, defined as % total body surface area (%TBSA) ≥30%, at the Adelaide Women's and Children's Hospital (WCH) over a 16-year period. Coding data and the local burns database were used to identify participants with subsequent review of case files.

RESULTS: Of the cohort (n = 23), six cases (26%) were complicated by thrombotic events. These patients had the most extensive burns averaging 68.5% TBSA, longer PICU admissions and associated interventions. These data points were more than doubled in the cohort diagnosed with a thrombus. Of the six events, five were secondary to central venous catheters (CVC) and one deep venous thrombosis (DVT) to the left calf.

CONCLUSION: The incidence of thrombotic events in our study was significant albeit in a small population. There is a strong association between large %TBSA and thrombus, with clots mostly forming around CVCs. While further research is required, this study demonstrates screening and targeted thromboprophylaxis may be required for major paediatric burns.

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