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Fiandeiro D.,Edendale Hospital | Govindsamy J.,Burns Unit | Maharaj R.C.,King Dinizulu Hospital
South African Medical Journal | Year: 2015

Background. Early cooling with 10 - 20 minutes of cool running water up to 3 hours after a burn has a direct impact on the depth of the burn and therefore on the clinical outcome of the injury. An assessment of the early cooling of burns is essential to improve this aspect of burns management. Objectives. To assess the rates and adequacy of prehospital cooling received by patients with severe burns before presentation to the Emergency Department (ED) at Edendale Hospital, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Patients with inadequate prehospital cooling who presented to the ED within 3 hours were also identified. Methods. A retrospective review of the burns database for all the patients with severe burns admitted from the ED at Edendale Hospital from September 2012 to August 2013 was undertaken. Demographic details, characteristics and timing of the burns, and presentation were correlated with burn cooling. Results. Ninety patients were admitted with severe burns. None received sufficient cooling of their burns, 25.6% received cooling of inadequate duration, and 32.3% arrived at the ED within 3 hours after the burn with either inadequate or no cooling. The median time to presentation to the ED after the burn was 260 minutes. Conclusion. Appropriate cooling of severe burns presenting to Edendale Hospital is inadequate. Education of the community and prehospital healthcare workers about the importance of early appropriate cooling of severe burns is required. Many patients would benefit from cooling of their burns in the ED, and facilities should be provided for this vital function. © 2015, South African Medical Association. All rights reserved.

Den Hollander D.,Burns Unit
Burns | Year: 2013

Since its inception in the 1980s 'futility' has been a controversial concept. The history of this concept, its definition and application to burns care are discussed from the perspective of a burn surgeon. Although introduced as an objective (value-free) criterion, futility proves impossible to objectivate and judgements about the value of human life always play a role. The roles of the patient, the doctor, the 'politician' and society at large in futility-decisions are discussed. © 2013 Published by Elsevier Ltd and ISBI.

Kong V.,Burns Unit
Indian journal of medical ethics | Year: 2012

Patients with extensive burns injuries are often given a poor prognosis. Those who survive after an initial early resuscitation phase often require extensive operative and critical care input, a prolonged hospital stay, and associated significant complications. The overwhelmingly high volume of patients already using the resource-stricken burns care service places extreme pressure on clinicians in respect of decisions they make about who should and should not be resuscitated. In this paper, we present the case of a young woman who sustained significant burn injuries, and discuss the ethical dilemmas encountered during the subsequent management of her care.

Mariano F.,Nephrology and Dialysis Unit | Tedeschi L.,Intensive Care Unit | Morselli M.,Clinical Pathology Unit | Stella M.,Burns Unit | Triolo G.,Nephrology and Dialysis Unit
Intensive Care Medicine | Year: 2010

Purpose: Anticoagulation during renal replacement therapy remains an important challenge for burn patients due to their high risk of bleeding. In this study we compared the efficacy and safety of citrate anticoagulation to heparin anticoagulation for hemodiafiltration (HDF) in severe burn patients, focusing on metabolic tolerance and handling of citrate. Methods: Retrospective observational study (January 2000-December 2007) at a university teaching hospital. Among 548 patients admitted with burns, 70 severe burn septic shock patients (median age 57.5 years, interquartile range 42-76 years; median burned surface area 40%, interquartile range 30-60%) who underwent HDF for more than 24 h were included. Results: Of the 70 HDF patients, 31 at high risk of bleeding were treated with citrate and 39 with heparin, with a mortality rate of 70.9 and 71.8%, respectively. In continuous venovenous hemodiafiltration (CVVHDF), the filter survival was higher with citrate, and hemorrhagic complications were lower (0.035 vs. 0.145 episodes/day, respectively). During citrate CVVHDF [median delivered dialysis dose: 578.9 ml kg-1 day-1 (461.5-769.2 ml kg-1 day-1)] in catecholamine-supported patients (norepinephrine 0.53 μg kg-1 min-1), no metabolic derangements in pH, bicarbonates, Na+, K+, Ca++, and ionized calcium were observed. Systemic citratemia was within the normal range (<0.4 mmol/l) and was associated with a marked citrate removal in the effluent (5 patients, 36-60% of infused amount). Conclusions: In septic shock burn patients, citrate for CVVHDF was efficient and safe, and superior to heparin for hemorrhagic complications and filter survival. Observed metabolic stability was most likely due to a marked loss of citrate in effluent volume and subsequent low total citrate load for the patient. © 2010 jointly held by Springer and ESICM.

De Sica-Chapman A.,Queen Elizabeth Hospital | Williams G.,Burns Unit | Soni N.,Intensive Therapy Unit | Bunker C.B.,Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
British Journal of Dermatology | Year: 2010

Background: Toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) is a rare but life-threatening, allergic drug reaction. Skin blistering with epidermal and mucosal necrolysis with subsequent detachment from an inflamed underlying dermis is a hallmark of the condition. The pathogenesis of TEN is not well understood, accounting for controversies about its management and significant delay in initiating potentially beneficial therapy. There are no management protocols based on a robust evidence base. Objectives: Prompt recognition of the diagnosis and consensus on early management initiatives are necessary in order to improve outcomes and survival in TEN. To date, TEN management has been directed at arresting the allergic reaction and treating the complications. We have identified a need for specific medical interventions to accelerate wound regeneration. This approach has not previously been adopted in the management of TEN. Methods: We observed that in two cases of severe TEN, dramatic re-epithelialization and recovery coincided with the introduction of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) for neutropenia. We explain how addition of the G-CSF promotes recovery from TEN by enhanced bioregeneration of the damaged tissues through accelerated re-epithelialization. Conclusion: G-CSF has been used for severe neutropenia in TEN, but we recommend and explain why, as in our Chelsea and Westminster protocol, G-CSF should be considered in treating severe TEN irrespective of the severity of neutropenia. © 2009 British Association of Dermatologists.

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