This article is about Karen, who was 20 weeks pregnant when she was involved in a gas explosion. The explosion caused a 35% body surface area deep partial-thickness burn to her legs and arms. This article focuses on the most important concerns and fears Karen expressed while she was in our care. Her statements triggered various clinical memories from several nurses in the burn unit, and thus the stories unfold. These stories reflect nursing practice through the psychological care, clinical signs, and pathophysiology of our patient. The spoken stories, coupled with the reflective stories, provide a total picture of the multidimensional care nurses provide for their patients.
We have presented a case of fulminating TEN with a fatal outcome. We believe there is strong probability that the TEN was caused by a propionic acid NSAID oxaprozin. This is the first reported case of TEN related to this particular agent. Toxic epidermal necrolysis has been reported with all types of NSAIDs. It appears from this case that switching from one class of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories to another is not always without risk. Despite the class of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agent used, the possibility of systemic reaction cannot be excluded.
Bioelectric impedance analysis (BIA) is used to measure the body composition and total body water of normal subjects. The purpose of this study was to determine if the hydration of patients with burns could be assessed by BIA. Assessments of total body water as determined by BIA and the tritiated water method were prospectively compared. The 2 analyses were performed 48 hours after admission for 5 patients with acute burns to determine the correlation of the 2 methods. The patients had a mean age of 36.4+/-14.7 years (range, 20-56 years), a mean burn size of 39.4%+/-15.9% of the body surface area (range, 23%-65%), and a mean full-thickness burn size of 27.7% of the body surface area. The total body water was measured on admission and again at 48 hours postburn. There is an excellent relationship between BIA and tritiated-water-method determinations of the total body water of patients with severe burns (r = 0.958). This correlation suggests that BIA provides an accurate measure of total body water, and so it is a reliable means of monitoring fluid resuscitation in patients with burns.
Wound bacterial colonization in 118 patients treated with chlorhexidine digluconate 0.2% in silver sulfadiazine 1% applied daily to the burn wounds was compared to that of 135 comparable patients similarly treated with silver sulfadiazine 1%. With chlorhexidine digluconate 0.2% in silver sulfadiazine 1%, colonization by Staphylococcus aureus was less frequent (38%) than with silver sulfadiazine (54%, p = 0.016). No statistical difference was found for colonization by Enterococcus faecalis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, or Enterobacter cloacae. Washing of the wounds of 65 patients with chlorhexidine gluconate 4% during daily dressing changes was associated with reduced wound colonization by S. aureus (35% versus 51%, p = 0.03) and P. aeruginosa (8% versus 16%, p = 0.08) when compared to the 188 washed with nonantibacterial soap. Chlorhexidine, whether added to the topical agent silver sulfadiazine (chlorhexidine digluconate 0.2%) or in the bath soap (chlorhexidine gluconate 4%), decreased colonization by S. aureus.
Acticoat (Smith and Nephew, Istanbul, Turkey), chlorhexidine acetate 0.5%, and silver sulfadiazine 1% were compared to assess the antibacterial effect of their application on experimental burn wounds in contaminated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa in rats. All treatment modalities were effective against P. aeruginosa because there were significant differences between treatment groups and control groups. The mean eschar concentrations did not differ significantly between Acticoat and chlorhexidine acetate groups, but there were significant differences between the silver sulfadiazine group and the other treatment groups, indicating that silver sulfadiazine significantly eliminated P. aeruginosa more effectively in the tissues than did the other two agents. All treatment modalities were sufficient to prevent the P. aeruginosa from invading to the muscle and from causing systemic infection. In conclusion, silver sulfadiazine is the most effective agent in the treatment of the P. aeruginosa-contaminated burn wounds; Acticoat can be considered as a treatment choice because of its peculiar ability of limiting the frequency of replacing wound dressings.
This study investigated the effects of the anti-inflammatory agent D-myo-inositol-1,2,6-trisphosphate (IP3) on burn edema. Two sets of experiments were performed. In the first set, a full-thickness burn injury was induced in the abdominal skin of anesthetized rats. Postburn intravenous treatment was given with IP3, indomethacin or saline solution. Extravasation of Evans blue albumin in the burned tissue was quantified by a spectrophotometric technique. Results showed significant inhibition of albumin extravasation by IP3 in three of five different doses compared to saline-treated animals. In the second set of experiments, a deep full-thickness burn through the abdominal skin and rectus muscle was induced. The therapeutic window of IP3 could be more well-defined. Resulted showed a significant reduction of albumin extravasation in the skin at all four dose levels and in the abdominal muscle at three of four doses. Indomethacin had no significant effect on postburn edema formation. The mechanisms responsible for the inhibition of albumin leakage by IP3 could be secondary to reduced formation of edema-promoting inflammatory mediators by the agent, resulting in improved vascular patency.
Retrospective analyses of 1,271 burn patients admitted to the University of Alabama (UAB) burn center from 1972 to 1981 showed the following trends in demographics, morbidity, mortality, and length of hospitalization. Patients aged 15 to 55 years with 60% or less body surface area (BSA) burn had a 93.2% survival. Of the 1,271 patients, 265 (20.9%) died. The mean age and percent BSA burn in patients who died were significantly higher than in those who survived. Complications related to mortality included pneumonia, septicemia, bacteremia, and respiratory burn. Preexisting conditions related to mortality included alcoholism, diseases of the heart and circulatory system, and mental disorders. The average length of hospitalization decreased significantly from 1972 to 1981, probably because of the decrease in burn size as well as the introduction of the enzymatic fast-graft technique for rapid wound closure.
The burns unit at the Royal Brisbane Hospital accepted a total of 2275 admissions from 1986 to 1996. During this 11-year period, 65 cases of self-inflicted burn injury were treated, which made up 2.9% of the total number of admissions. A mortality rate of 21.5% (14 patients) is noted, with all patients dying after admission to the hospital. A common feature of people that self-inflict burn injuries is a psychiatric history, with many patients having histories of self-harm or suicide attempts. Two distinct groups were identified--those with suicidal intent and those with intent of self-harm. Those patients with self-inflicted injuries have an increased mean of 31.4% total body surface area burned as compared with those patients whose injuries are accounted for as accidental, which have a mean total body surface area burned of 10%. Additionally, the mean length of stay in the hospital for patients with self-inflicted injuries was 40 days for acute injuries, which is prolonged; the mean length of stay for acute injuries that were not self-inflicted was 14 days. This investigation discovered 3 cases of repeated self-inflicted burn injury.
At 1:37 pm on January 29, 2003, an explosion occurred at the West Pharmaceutical chemical plant in Kinston, North Carolina. The explosion killed three people at the scene and resulted in more than 30 admissions to area hospitals. The disaster resulted in 10 critically ill burn patients, who were all intubated with inhalation injuries, many with combined burn and trauma injuries. All 10 critically injured patients were admitted to a tertiary care facility 100 miles away with both a Level I trauma center and a verified burn center. Ultimately, 7 of 10 patients survived (a mortality rate of 30%), and none were transferred to another trauma or burn center. This article analyzes the unique challenges that combined burn and trauma patients present during a disaster, critically examines the response to this disaster, describes lessons learned, and presents recommendations that may improve the response to such disasters in the future.
On September 11, 2001, an airplane flown by terrorists crashed into the Pentagon, causing a mass casualty incident with 189 deaths and 106 persons treated for injuries in local hospitals. Nine burn victims and one victim with an inhalation injury only were transported to the burn center hospital. The Burn Center at Washington Hospital Center admitted and treated the acute burn patients while continuing its mission as the regional burn center for the Washington DC region. Eight of the nine burn patients survived. Lessons learned include 1) A large-volume burn center hospital can absorb nine acute burns and maintain burn center and hospital operations, but the decision to keep or transfer burn patients must be tempered with the reality that several large burns can double or triple the work load for 2 to 3 months. 2) Transfer decisions should have high priority and be timely to ensure optimum care for the patients without need for movement of medical personnel from one burn center to another. 3) The reserve capacity of burn beds in the United States is limited, and the burn centers and the American Burn Association must continue to seek recognition and support from Congress and the federal agencies for optimal preparedness.
This report reviews the response of a regional burn center to the disaster that occurred in New York City at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. In addition, it assesses that response in the context of other medical institutions in the region. There were facilities in the region that had 120 burn care beds; only two-thirds of the burn-injured patients who required hospital admission were admitted to designated burn centers, and only 28% of burn-injured victims initially were triaged to regional burn centers. The care rendered at this center was made possible by a "disaster-ready" facility and supplementation of personnel from the resources provided by The National Disaster Medical System. The patient outcomes at this center exceeded that as predicted by logistic regression analysis.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of range-of-motion exercise on vital signs of critically ill patients. The vital signs of 10 consecutive critically ill patients were evaluated during passive and active-assistive range-of-motion exercise. Vital signs monitored were heart rate, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and mean arterial pressure. The average length of an exercise session was 22.6 minutes. No clinically significant difference was found between pretreatment and treatment heart rate, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, or mean arterial pressure. It appears from this study that passive and active-assistive range-of-motion exercise can be performed safely, without unnecessary physiologic stress, on critically ill patients.
A significant decline in plasma concentrations of copper and iron were observed in sheep exposed to preferential smoke inhalation of the left lung. The decline was evident 30 minutes after smoke inhalation, and the levels of both trace metals persisted at quite low levels for up to the 18-hour time interval after injury. From that time a gradual recover for copper but not for iron levels was observed so that by 24 hours the levels of copper were in the same range of those at baseline. Copper and iron levels showed an inverse correlation to airway peak and plateau pressures and left lung vascular resistance index and a direct correlation to left lung blood flow. Administration of BM 13.177 (Solutroban), a thromboxane antagonist, before exposure to smoke inhalation protected the sheep from the decline of copper and iron levels in plasma. In these animals airway peak and plateau pressure, left lung vascular resistance, and blood flow were also unmodified. Lipid peroxidation of the lung tissue by oxygen free radicals were lower than in those animals that did not receive BM 13.177. There was likewise a tendency of a decreased wet-to-dry weight ratios in the animals treated with BM 13.177. BM 13.177 treatment in an inhalation injury model might partly protect lung damage and parallels unchanged plasma copper and iron levels. The plasma copper and iron may therefore be an indicator of acute lung damage.
Partial- or full-thickness perioral facial burns may lead to a contracture of the tissues surrounding the oral commissures that results in microstomia. The current investigators have used the microstomia prevention appliance (MPA) exclusively in the management of commissure burns at the University of Iowa Burn Center since 1972. To assess the effectiveness of the MPA, a retrospective chart review was conducted. The study population consisted of 85 patients admitted to the center between 1974 and 1986 who had incurred burns to the perioral region or to the lower two thirds of the face. The chart analysis of 83 patients revealed that, with diligent and persistent use of the MPA, only one patient required surgical repair for the development of microstomia. The MPA has proved effective in decreasing the need for reconstructive procedures and in preventing the occurrence of microstomia.
Burn injuries are associated with muscle cachexia, which mainly reflects protein breakdown in the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Ubiquitination of proteins degraded by this mechanism is regulated by multiple enzymes, including the 14-kd ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme, E2(14k). In this study, burn injuries in rats resulted in increased levels of the 1.2 kilobase E2(14k) transcript in the white, fast-twitch extensor digitorum longus muscle with no changes or only minor changes in the red, slow-twitch soleus muscle, liver, and kidney. The results provide the first evidence that burn injuries upregulate the gene expression of E2(14k) in skeletal muscle and suggest that ubiquitin-proteasome-dependent muscle protein breakdown after thermal injuries may, at least in part, be regulated by E2(14k).
The development of a more aggressive approach to burn wound management, leading to complete excision within 72 hours after burn, has led some to conclude that total early excision is a major force behind improved survival rates. We have summarized the results of treatment of 1507 patients with burn injuries treated between 1967 and 1986. Wounds were managed with use of standard topical therapy, occlusive dressings, and staged excision and grafting of full-thickness injury or deep dermal injury (not healed by 21 days). Data were analyzed with use of a logistic-regression model because, with the exception of older patient cohorts, the data did not fit the probit model. The major determinants predicting death were the percentage of body surface area burned, age, smoke inhalation, and the percentage of full-thickness burn. Concordance was 97%. These data show that aggressive sequential wound excision and grafting produces end results comparable with those achieved with complete early burn wound excision for similar age ranges and injury. Early harvest of available donor sites in patients with large burns may be more important to survival than complete early wound excision.
Cigarettes are the most common ignition source for fatal house fires, which cause approximately 29% of the fire deaths in the United States. A common scenario is the delayed ignition of a sofa, chair, or mattress by a lit cigarette that is forgotten or dropped by a smoker whose alertness is impaired by alcohol or medication. Cigarettes are designed to continue burning when left unattended. If they are dropped on mattresses, upholstered furniture, or other combustible material while still burning, their propensity to start fires varies depending on the cigarette design and content. The term "fire-safe" has evolved to describe cigarettes designed to have a reduced propensity for igniting mattresses and upholstered furniture. Legislative interest in the development of fire-safe smoking materials has existed for more than 50 years. Studies that showed the technical and economic feasibility of commercial production of fire-safe cigarettes were completed more than 10 years ago. Despite this, commercial production of fire-safe smoking materials has not been undertaken. The current impasse relates to the lack of consensus on a uniform test method on which to base a standard for fire-safe cigarettes. Although the fire-safe cigarette is a potentially important burn prevention tool, commercial production of such cigarettes will not occur until a standard against which fire-starting performance can be measured has been mandated by law at the state or federal level. The burn care community can play a leadership role in such legislative efforts.
Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) that interrupt polymorphonuclear neutrophil (PMN)-endothelial cell adhesion can ameliorate PMN-mediated injury, including burn-induced inflammatory injury, but can also impair PMN-mediated defense against bacterial infection. We report the effects of combined anti-adhesion and antibiotic therapy on local infectious sequelae after subcutaneous Escherichia coli inoculation in rabbits treated with anti-CD18 (60.3) or anti-P-selectin (PB1.3) MAb. Ampicillin or ceftriaxone were administered for 72 hours. PMN emigration was assessed at 24 hours and local infectious sequelae at 7 days. In ampicillin/60.3-treated rabbits, E. coli inoculation resulted in impaired PMN emigration and increased infectious complications, with abscesses forming at a 10,000-fold lower inoculation concentration compared with other MAb-antibiotic treatment groups. We conclude that (1) CD18, but not P-selectin blockade interferes with PMN emigration and host defense to subcutaneous E. coli, and (2) appropriate antibiotic therapy can prevent the local infectious events caused by CD18 inhibition.
Neutrophils are the primary vectors that produce lung parenchymal injury after smoke inhalation as a result of their transmigration through endothelial and epithelial gap junctions toward the airway surfaces. LFA-1 (CD11a/CD18) on the neutrophil surface is essential for this transmigration in many tissues. We hypothesized that anti-CD18 antibodies would block such movement and prevent lung damage. Ten sheep received nebulized cotton smoke in our standardized model of inhalation injury. The sham group (n = 2) was insufflated with air only, the second group (n = 4) was insufflated with smoke but received no antibody, and the third group (n = 4) was given monoclonal antibody R15.7 before smoke injury. A similar degree of parenchymal injury and an alveolar epithelial reparative response were measured in both groups receiving injury. Neutrophil counts in the interstitium of both injured groups were also similar. However, in the R15.7 pretreated group, neutrophils remained inside the capillary in far larger numbers (p < 0.05). The CD11/18 adhesion complex may not be necessary for the pulmonary microvascular changes associated with inhalation injury.
We developed a mouse recipient model that was used to evaluate and compare four cryopreservation procedures for human cadaveric skin stored for two time periods. Skin specimens were identically processed and preserved by programmed (1 degree C/min), or stepwise freezing, and stored at -180 degrees C or -80 degrees C for periods of 1 month and 6 to 10 months. Samples were grafted on Balb/c mice, and primary take was evaluated after 7 days. The results indicate that although all grafted specimens were initially accepted, as indicated by gross observations, histologic differences were evident and significant. The study groups were analyzed for the effect of method and skin sample variety; the effect of freezing procedure and temperature level; time effect (storage period); and advantage of method 1 (programmed freezing at -180 degrees C) over the other methods. The significance (p value) was determined for separate histologic criteria and average skin score or quality. The overall results indicate that average score of skin preserved by method 1 is highest for both storage periods. This method has an almost significant advantage (p = 0.057) over the others on quality of skin stored for 1 month, and a highly significant advantage (p = 0.007) on graft adherence of skin stored for 6 to 10 months. The effect of method and samples variety on the separate histologic criteria and average score of skin is not always significant. However, an interaction factor (between method and samples) has a highly significant effect (p < 0.001) on almost all of the histologic criteria and average skin score. The effects of freezing method is significant only on average skin score, for 1 month of storage; whereas temperature effect is seldom significant. Evaluating the effects of time, samples, and the interaction factor (between time and samples) indicated that the interaction factor is highly significant (p < 0.001). Time and samples effects are rarely significant. Thus the quality of the final product-the cryopreserved skin-is determined by many factors, and quite often they interact. Highly significant is the combined effect, or interaction factor, of sample variability with method of cryopreservation or with storage period.
Patients who have sustained a facial burn often contend with cosmetic and functional challenges, including microstomia. Many devices have been created by a variety of professionals to provide oral stretching. These devices can be classified as intraoral or extraoral and deliver a stretch either horizontally, vertically, or circumorally. The purpose of this article is to present a comprehensive review of oral-stretching devices. The dynamic properties of scar tissue in the early stages of scar maturation, unless influenced by an opposing force, quickly shortens and frequently leads to contractures. 1,2 A variety of interventions are used to manage the scarring process, some of which include positioning, pressure, splints, and exercises. 1,3 These interventions are intended to reduce scarring and maintain function. 4 When the perioral region is involved, there are concerns not only with cosmetic appearance but also with function and hygiene. Microstomia can inhibit dental and skeletal development in addition to creating difficulties with eating and speech. 5,6 Furthermore, microstomia makes dental hygiene difficult and can be hazardous when attempting to administer general anesthesia. 6,7 There is a wide range of protocols followed to prevent or manage microstomia, including initiation of the appliance, frequency, and duration of use. The appliances are presented in three major categories based on the type of stretch provided (horizontal, vertical, and circumoral) and then grouped based on whether the device is intraoral or extraoral. The majority of the devices are custom-made. A description of the appliance itself, along with its use, advantages and disadvantages, is discussed.
Victims of smoke inhalation with and without burns and burn patients with respiratory insufficiency for reasons other than smoke at a regional burn unit are profiled in terms of age, burn size, length of stay, and mortality. The diagnostic characteristics of patients with an inhalation injury (N = 108) are listed; 7% of all patients (N = 52) have known smoke exposure with equivocal evidence for injury to the airway or pulmonary parenchyma. The degree of respiratory (visceral) failure experienced by patients with inhalation injury is not uniformly severe. Many of the clues to this diagnosis are indirect and not always related to the severity of pulmonary injury. Timing and degree of visceral failure control the severity of the injury, which increases progressively from that in patients with a burn only (parietal injury) through those with a visceral injury only (smoke without burn), those with both smoke and burn, to those with a burn and uniformly severe respiratory failure on the basis of sepsis.
According to criteria established to define patients with smoke inhalation, the airway management of all victims of smoke and burns (1974 to 1984; n = 805) was reviewed. Fourteen percent of all patients were intubated (n = 117); patients intubated on the day of injury (n = 41) were more likely to extubate themselves or have technical problems with the endotracheal tube. Twelve percent of patients with smoke inhalation without burns required endotracheal intubation versus 62% of those with burns. An endotracheal tube was required for a median of 5 days. Tracheotomies were performed in 48 patients: 40% of those intubated and 6% of all patients. The mean postburn day for tracheotomy was day 15. There was no difference in the mortality rate for patients with an endotracheal tube only and those who had a tracheotomy as well: 42% and 37%, respectively. The prolonged length of stay for patients with a tracheotomy relates to the severity of the burn. Tracheotomy was not the cause of death in any patient. The strategy of grafting the neck before tracheotomy was used successfully in eight patients.
Data obtained from the New Jersey State Department of Health on the 1985 hospitalized patients with burns and data collected from the National Burn Victim Foundation's standard burn reporting form were analyzed to gather information about the epidemiology of burns. Children (0 to 4 years of age) continue to be the largest percentage of the 0- to 18-year-old age group who sustain burn injuries, and 67% of those injuries are sustained by children under the age of 5. Males accounted for 69% of the total burn population; 58% of admissions were white; 69% of patients were admitted for partial-thickness burns, and 31% were admitted for full-thickness burns; the largest primary payer was third-party payers; and 92% of patients with burns were discharged to home or self-care. Data were also analyzed by examination of selected age groups to determine individual needs of specific groups. An analysis of burn injuries reported to the National Burn Victim Foundation confirmed previous reports that the home is the most likely place for a burn injury to occur and that flame and scald injuries predominate; scald injuries comprise 50% of all sustained burns. Gasoline vapors accounted for 54% of burn injuries caused by flames. The data supported efforts to develop programs that address the needs of the urban child, the 17- to 19-year-old age groups, and the elderly. The information that was collected served to redefine objectives for burn prevention programs.
For this presentation, the author selected a few highlights and summarized some of his main interests drawn from 25 years' experience as a surgeon in the Department of Plastic Surgery at Hokkaido University. The four major topics addressed are (1) kinetics and the effect of antibacterial agents and other drugs on the burn wound; (2) study of inhalation injuries and anticoagulant therapy in severe burns; (3) wound healing and the effects of artificial skin substitutes; and (4) reconstructive surgery in burned patients.
This retrospective review of the 1990 ABA orally presented abstracts found an overall publication rate of slightly more than 26%. This included both same-content and related-content publications. When the abstracts were made a subset by theme, a major variance in the publication rates was found. Abstracts that had a psychologic content (72.73%), for example, fared much better than reports of in vitro research (6.9%). This overall rate when compared to publication studies in other clinical areas was found to be quite low. This study further found that there was a great deal of similarity between abstracts that were published and those that were not. The one meaningful predictor of ultimate journal publication was the clarity of the presentation of statistically related information.
This study examined all accepted Oregon workers' compensation claims for occupational burn injuries during the period of 1990 to 1997 (N = 3,158). The Current Population Survey was used to derive employee population baselines for establishing rate estimates. It was estimated that the average occupational burn claim rate was 2.89 per 10,000 workers (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.76, 3.02). The majority of claimants (71.7%) were males, the largest proportion (32.6%) was aged 25 years or less, and almost half (48.7%) had less than 1 year of job tenure. The most frequent burn type cited was heat/scald burns (78.9%) followed by chemical burns (19.3%). Costs averaged over 1.6 million dollars annually. The average indemnity period was 16 days. Higher relative risks were found for evening workers (2.97, 95% CI 2.96, 2.98) and night workers (2.13, 95% CI 2.12, 2.13) compared with dayshift workers. Kitchen workers had the highest burn rate of all occupations, with 62.5 claims per 10,000 workers.
The most important question that had to be answered from our animal data was whether a significant difference existed between the two groups. It could be observed that the resuscitation with Ringer's lactate did not lead to any increased lymph flow or total transcapillary protein flow in spite of the drop in protein and oncotic pressure in plasma. With Ringer's lactate there was a lower lymph to plasma protein ratio, which might be significant. No negative difference could be observed either in the pulmonary capillary wedge pressure or pulmonary vessel resistance. All animals survived throughout the experiment, and in all experiments no advantages regarding the vital parameters could be ascertained with the administration of albumin; however, several factors must be borne in mind. The inhalation injury was from a heat source alone and no toxic substances were involved. Only inhalation trauma was induced in the absence of a surface burn wound. The duration of the observation was for only 36 hours. Thus some caution must be observed in applying these findings to a clinical situation. In our evaluation of the clinical results, we have seen that no differences could be established in regard to pulmonary capillary wedge pressure and extravascular lung water between the Ringer's lactate and the albumin group. In spite of a 50% drop in oncotic pressure, however, this is only valid for the first 24 to 36 hours, after which one could assume that a further protein drop coupled with a still raised hydrostatic filtration coefficient would lead to interstitial edema.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Homeostatic reflexes are believed to supply the means by which the body adapts to changes in the environment (posture, temperature, etc.) and, hence, it might be expected that their importance would increase when the body is disturbed by trauma. In fact, these reflexes are largely abandoned in the response to danger (the defense-arousal reaction), and it is only after simple fluid loss that a limited improvement is seen, that is, an increase in the sensitivity of the baroreflex. Whenever tissue damage generates nociceptive C fiber afferent impulses, there is serious and relatively long-lasting inhibition of the baroreflex and of all aspects of neural thermoregulation. Significant changes occur after quite moderate injuries and do not depend on any reduction in tissue oxygenation. In children with burns in whom early pyrexia is common, central thermoregulation may also be affected by cytokine pyrogens. These changes have implications for the management of patients with all types of injuries. However, further analysis is needed if we are to understand these responses and their role in the body's defense; without this knowledge, we shall not be able to modulate them effectively.
Toxic effects of sodium hypochlorite on wound healing elements have been confined to a restricted range of sodium hypochlorite concentrations. We investigated concentrations of sodium hypochlorite for antibacterial activity and tissue toxicity at varying time intervals. We attempted to find the efficacious therapeutic concentration that was both microbicidal and nontoxic. Gram-negative and gram-positive isolates (0.1/ml of 1 x 10(8)/ml) were introduced into various concentrations of buffered and unbuffered sodium hypochlorite solutions for determinations of bactericidal activity at 5-, 10-, 15-, and 30-minute intervals. Concentrations of sodium hypochlorite were 0.25%, 0.025%, and 0.0125%. In vitro assays with fibroblasts at the same concentrations were also performed to determine toxicity at the same time intervals. An in vivo incisional model was also used to determine the effects of sodium hypochlorite therapy on wound healing. Bactericidal effects were observed for concentrations as low as 0.025%. Tissue toxicity, both in vitro and in vivo, was observed at concentrations of 0.25% but not at a concentration of 0.025%. Although concentrations below this level were nontoxic, they were not bactericidal. Therefore a modified "Dakin's" solution at a concentration of 0.025% is therapeutically efficacious as a fluid dressing, since it preserves bactericidal properties and eliminates the detrimental potential on wound healing.
Primed neutrophils may contribute to endothelial and end-organ damage after burn injury because of increased endothelial adherence and enhanced toxic oxygen metabolite generation in response to a "second insult" such as bacterial sepsis. The purposes of this study were to determine: (1) whether serum from patients with thermal injury causes priming of the neutrophil NADPH:O2 oxidoreductase, (2) whether time after burn (early vs late) influences neutrophil priming, and (3) whether priming could be attenuated by a specific platelet-activating factor antagonist, WEB2170. Normal human neutrophils were incubated with 10% sera that was obtained from healthy adult controls (normal human sera) and with 10% sera from patients with greater than 30% total body surface area burns, which was collected early (early postburn sera) (i.e., between 12 and 48 hours after burn) or late (late postburn sera) (5 to 15 days, after burn). Priming of the neutrophil oxidase was tested for by measurement of the generation of superoxide anion after a stimulus of 10(-6) mol/L formyl-methionine-leucine-phenylalanine (fMLP). In separate experiments, neutrophils were pretreated with WEB2170 before serum incubation and fMLP stimulation to block any priming that may be mediated by platelet-activating factor. All sera caused an increased rate of superoxide anion production in response to fMLP and thus "primed" the neutrophil NADPH:O2 oxidoreductase. Greater priming occurred after incubation with late postburn sera than with other sera. WEB2170 completely inhibited priming by normal human sera and early postburn sera and partially inhibited priming by late postburn sera.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
The purpose of this study was to present the epidemiology of thermal burn fatalities in the workplace in the United States between 1992 and 1999. Data on fatal thermal burn injuries in the United States between 1992 through 1999 were obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. Between 1992 and 1999, 1,189 fatal thermal burns occurred in the workplace (0.11 deaths/100,000 workers per year). Mortality increased with age, with those over 65 years of age having the greatest rate of death (0.20/100,000). Workers in the mining industry and transportation and public utilities had the highest rates of fatal thermal burns. Occupational categories with the highest rates included "extractive occupations" (eg, miners, explosives workers) and "transportation and material movers" (eg, truck drivers). The specific occupations with the highest rates were airplane pilots and navigators, furnace, kiln, and oven operators, and firefighters. Most decedents were operating vehicles or involved in "other transportation operations" at the time of the incident. The majority of injurious incidents occurred on "industrial premises" or the "street and highway." Efforts to prevent fatal occupational thermal burn injuries should focus on older workers and those in occupations with frequent exposure to potential sources of thermal injury. Further study of nonfatal thermal burns in the workplace is needed because patterns of fatal burn injury may not reflect patterns of occupational burn injury overall.
The state of Alabama has one of the highest fire-related fatality rates in the nation. The goal of this study was to present the epidemiology of fire-related deaths in the state of Alabama. Fatality reports for all fire-related deaths in the state of Alabama from 1992 to 1997 were obtained from the State Fire Marshall's Office. Fatality rates were calculated and compared according to age, sex, and race. Descriptive statistics were generated for population and fire characteristics. Fatality rates were higher among black people, men, children, and older people. Approximately half (48.8%) of the deaths occurred between the months of November and March; July had the lowest proportion of deaths (5.0%). Residential fires accounted for the largest proportion of deaths. Fatality rates were higher for mobile home residents. Overall, smoke detectors were present in only 32.5% of the residential fires. The presence of smoke detectors was more common with deaths in urban locations (41.8%) than with deaths in rural locations (20.8%). The most frequently reported cause of fatal fires was misuse of cigarettes. More than half of the victims aged 18 years and older tested positive for alcohol. Fire prevention efforts should focus on smoke detectors, fire-safe cigarettes, and alcohol. Mobile home residents should also be targeted for fire prevention initiatives.