Management of burns of over 80% of total body surface area: a comparative study.
ABSTRACT The aim of this retrospective, comparative study was to analyse the management of extensive burns so as to decrease morbidity and mortality. Over 1987-1996, 24 people with burns >80% of total body surface area and >50% full-thickness burn were admitted to the burn unit of Anhui Medical University Hospital (group A); 30 similar admissions over 1997-2006 formed group B. No significant difference was found in age, male:female ratio, % total body surface or full-thickness burn area between the two groups. Severe shock developed in 19/24 cases in group A and 23/30 cases in group B, following inadequate fluid resuscitation, although group B received a higher mean resuscitation fluid volume during the first 24h after burn. Early excision and grafting was performed for 8/24 people in group A and 23/30 in group B. Inhalation injury was seen in 18/24 cases in group A and 28/30 cases in group B. Prophylactic tracheotomy was undergone by 8/24 casualties in group A and 22/30 in group B. Mortality in group A was significantly higher than in group B (95.8% vs. 63.3%, p<0.05) and survival was longer in group B. These results showed that refinements in burn shock resuscitation, and advances in early wound excision, skin grafting and respiratory management were associated with decreased morbidity and mortality after severe burn.