[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During the rehabilitation phase of burn injury, patient care transitions from critical care medicine to restorative treatment strategies that encompass physical and occupational therapies, nutrition repletion, and psychosocial support for community reintegration. As pediatric burn patients undergo rehabilitation, nutrition assessment remains ongoing to define nutritional status and any alterations in metabolism that may take place. For some, a persistent hypermetabolic state appears evident, and weight loss may continue. The severity and duration however varies among patients. Many patients enter their rehabilitative phase with visible lean body mass depletion, and the focus of nutritional therapy for them shifts to replenishing nutritional status, while supporting rehabilitative efforts. Over the past decade, we have conducted studies on energy and protein metabolism, body composition, including bone mineralization, and general wellness in over 130 patients to better understand changes in metabolism and nutritional status during the rehabilitative phase of recovery. This abstract summarizes our findings.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Restorative sleep is an important component of quality of life. Disturbances in sleep after burn injury were reported but all based on uncontrolled or nonstandardized data. The occurrence and the effect of long-term sleep problems in young adult burn survivors have not been well defined. This 5-year (2003-2008) prospective multicenter longitudinal study included adults with burn injuries ages 19 to 30 years who completed the Young Adult Burn Outcome Questionnaire (YABOQ) up to 36 months after injury. The items measured 15 patient-reported outcomes including physical, psychological, and social statuses and symptoms such as itch and pain. Scores of these 15 YABOQ outcome domains were standardized to a mean of 50 and a SD of 10 based on an age-matched nonburned reference group of young adults. Sleep quality was assessed using the item "How satisfied are you now with your sleep," rated by a 5-point Likert scale. Patients responding with very and somewhat dissatisfied were classified as having sleep dissatisfaction and the remaining as less or not dissatisfied. The associations between sleep dissatisfaction (yes/no) and YABOQ outcome domains were analyzed longitudinally using mixed-effect generalized linear models, adjusted for %TBSA burned, age, gender, and race. Generalized estimating equations were used to take into account correlated error resulting from repeated surveys on each patient over time. One hundred and fifty-two burn survivors participated in the YABOQ survey at baseline and during the follow-up who had at least one survey with a response to the sleep item. Among them, sleep dissatisfaction was twice as prevalent (76/152, 50%) when compared with the nonburned reference group (29/112, 26%). The likelihood of a burn survivor being dissatisfied with sleep was reduced over time after the burn injury. Sleep dissatisfaction following burns was significantly associated, in a dose-dependent manner, with increasing burn size (P = .001). Better sleep was associated with better outcomes in all domains (P < .05) except Fine Motor Function, and this association was significantly more apparent in the longer term compared with the shorter term with the same domains (P < .05). Dissatisfaction with sleep is highly prevalent following burn injuries in young adults. Lower satisfaction with sleep is associated with poorer scores in nearly all quality of life measures. Satisfaction with sleep should be addressed during the long-term clinical follow-up of young adults with burn injuries. Further research should be undertaken to understand the components of sleep quality that are important to burn survivors and which ones might be modified and tested in future intervention studies.
No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Journal of burn care & research: official publication of the American Burn Association
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Long-term follow-up care of survivors after burn injuries can potentially be improved by the application of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs). PROMs can inform clinical decision-making and foster communication between the patient and provider. There are no previous reports using real-time, burn-specific PROMs in clinical practice to track and benchmark burn recovery over time. This study examines the feasibility of a computerized, burn-specific PROM, the Young Adult Burn Outcome Questionnaire (YABOQ), with real-time benchmarking feedback in a burn outpatient practice. The YABOQ was redesigned for formatting and presentation purposes using images and transcribed to a computerized format. The redesigned questionnaire was administered to young adult burn survivors (ages 19-30 years, 1-24 months from injury) via an ipad platform in the office before outpatient visits. A report including recovery curves benchmarked to a nonburned relatively healthy age-matched population and to patients with similar injuries was produced for the domains of physical function and social function limited by appearance. A copy of the domain reports as well as a complete copy of the patient's responses to all domain questions was provided for use during the clinical visit. Patients and clinicians completed satisfaction surveys at the conclusion of the visit. Free-text responses, included in the satisfaction surveys, were treated as qualitative data adding contextual information about the assessment of feasibility. Eleven patients and their providers completed the study for 12 clinical visits. All patients found the ipad survey and report "easy" or "very easy" to use. In nine instances, patients "agreed" or "strongly agreed" that it helped them communicate their situation to their doctor/nurse practitioner. Patients "agreed" or "strongly agreed" that the report helped them understand their course of recovery in 10 visits. In 11 visits, the patients "agreed" or "strongly agreed" that they would recommend this feedback to others. Qualitative comments included: "it helped organize my thoughts of recovery," "it opened lines of communication with the doctor," "it showed me how far I have come, and how far I need to go," and "it raised questions I would not have thought of." Only four of 12 provider surveys agreed that it helped them understand a patient's condition; however, in two visits, the providers stated that it helped identify a pertinent clinical issue. During two visits, providers stated that a treatment plan was discussed or recommended based on the survey results. Separately, qualitative comments from the providers included "survey was not sensitive enough to identify that this patient needed surgery for their scars." This is the first report describing clinical use of a burn-specific patient reported outcome measure. Real-time feedback using the ipad YABOQ was well received for the most part by the clinicians and burn survivors in the outpatient clinic setting. The information provided by the reports can be tested in a future randomized controlled clinical study evaluating impacts on physician decisions.
No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Journal of burn care & research: official publication of the American Burn Association
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The impact of burn size on mortality is well known, but the association of burn size with the trajectories of long-term functional outcomes remains poorly studied. This prospective multi-center study included burned adults ages 19 to 30 years who completed the Young Adult Burn Outcome Questionnaire at initial baseline contact, 2 weeks, and at 6 and 12 months after initial questionnaire administration. Non-burned adults of comparable ages also completed the questionnaire as a reference group. The association between functional recovery and TBSA burned was analyzed longitudinally using generalized linear models with the generalized estimation equation technique. Functional status was characterized in 15 domains: physical function, fine motor function, pain, itch, social function limited by physical function, perceived appearance, social function limited by appearance, sexual function, emotion, family function, family concern, satisfaction with symptom relief, satisfaction with role, work reintegration, and religion. Scores were standardized to a mean of 50 and a SD of 10 based on non-burned controls. There were 153 burned and 112 non-burned subjects with a total of 620 questionnaires. TBSA burned was 11 + 14% (mean + SD); 31% had face involvement and 57% had hand involvement. The lag time from burn injury to questionnaire administration was on average 7 + 7.7 months, with a maximum of 36 months. Lower recovery levels were associated with increasing burn size for physical function, pain, itch, work reintegration, emotion, satisfaction with symptom relief, satisfaction with role, family function, and family concern (P value ranged from .04-<.0001). No significant differences in recovery levels were found with increasing burn size for fine motor function, social function limited by physical function, sexual function, and religion; these areas tracked toward the age-matched non-burned group regardless of burn size. Perceived appearance and social function limited by appearance remained below the non-burn levels throughout the 3-year period regardless of burn size. Three-year recovery trajectories of survivors with larger burn size showed improvements in most areas, but these improvements lagged behind those with smaller burns. Poor perceived appearance was persistent and prevalent regardless of burn size and was found to limit social function in these young adult burn survivors. Expectations for multidimensional recovery from burns in young adults can be benchmarked based on burn size with important implications for patient monitoring and intervening in clinical care.
No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Journal of burn care & research: official publication of the American Burn Association
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: One of the fundamental aspects of initial burn care is the ability to accurately measure the TBSA of injured tissue. Discrepancies between initial estimates of burn size and actual TBSA (determined at the burn unit) have long been reported. These inconsistencies have the potential for unnecessary patient transfer and inappropriate fluid administration which may result in morbidity. In an effort to study these inconsistencies and their impact on initial care, we evaluated the differences between initial TBSA estimates and its impact on fluid resuscitation at an ABA-verified pediatric burn center. A prospective observational study of 50 consecutive burn patients admitted to Shriner's Hospital for Children in Boston, Massachusetts, between October 2011 and April 2012 was performed. Data collected included age, mechanism of burn injury, type of referral center, referring hospital TBSA, and volume of fluid administration as well as admission TBSA and volume of fluid administration. Determination of over or under resuscitation was based on comparing the amount of fluids received at the referral center to that received at the pediatric burn center. A total of 50 patients were admitted during the 7-month study period. The average age was 4.1 years old (25 days-16 years) and the average TBSA was 2.5% (0.25-55%). There were significant differences in the TBSA calculations between referring centers and the pediatric burn center. Overestimation of scald and contact burn size (P < .05) was noted with no difference in flame burn size estimation. Community referrals were more likely than tertiary centers to overestimate TBSA (P < .05 vs P = .29). Overall, 59% of study patients were administered more fluid at the referring hospital than would have been expected by the burn size calculated at our facility. Inconsistencies with the estimation of TBSA burn between referring hospitals and tertiary referral centers remains a problem in pediatric patients and may lead to inappropriate resuscitation. This study highlights the continued need for educational outreach programs and for the provision of novel resources to initial burn providers. Additional support through online resources (eg, Lund-Browder diagram) and remotely assisting providers during their TBSA measurements are potential options which may help to improve the initial care of burn patients.
No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Journal of burn care & research: official publication of the American Burn Association
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Standard approaches to evaluate scar formation within histological sections rely on qualitative evaluations and scoring, which limits our understanding of the remodeling process. We have recently developed an image analysis technique for the rapid quantification of fiber alignment at each pixel location. The goal of this study was to evaluate its application for quantitatively mapping scar formation in histological sections of cutaneous burns. To this end, we utilized directional statistics to define maps of fiber density and directional variance from Masson's Trichrome stained sections for quantifying changes in collagen organization during scar remodeling. Significant increases in collagen fiber density are detectable soon after burn injury in a rat model. Decreased fiber directional variance in the scar was also detectable between 3 weeks and 6 months after injury, indicating increasing fiber alignment. This automated analysis of fiber organization can provide objective surrogate endpoints for evaluating cutaneous wound repair and regeneration. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
This study aimed to describe the pediatric burn inpatient rehabilitation population and short-term functional outcomes using the Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation.
This is a secondary analysis of data from the Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation database between 2002 and 2011 included children younger than 18 yrs at time of admission to inpatient rehabilitation with primary diagnosis of burn injury. Demographic, medical, and functional data were evaluated. Function was assessed with the Functional Independence Measure or the WeeFIM.
A total of 509 children were included, of whom 124 were evaluated with Functional Independence Measure and 385 with WeeFIM. The mean age of the population was 8.6 yrs and most were boys (72%). The mean length of stay for the population was 35 days. Functional status improved significantly from admission to discharge; most gains were in the motor subscore. Most patients were discharged home (95%). Of those discharged home, most (96%) went home with family.
Children receiving multidisciplinary inpatient rehabilitation make significant functional improvements in total functional scores and in both motor and cognitive subscores. Most patients are discharged home with family. This study advances understanding of pediatric burn post-acute care outcomes.
No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · American journal of physical medicine & rehabilitation / Association of Academic Physiatrists
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
Burn patients exhibit comorbidities that influence outcomes. This study examines whether existing comorbidity measures capture comorbidities in the burn inpatient rehabilitation population.
Data were obtained from the Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation from 2002 to 2011 for adults with burn injury. International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, codes were used to assess three comorbidity measures (Charlson Comorbidity Index, Elixhauser Comorbidity Index, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Comorbidity Tiers). The number of subjects and unique comorbidity codes (>1% of frequency) captured by each comorbidity measure was calculated.
The study included 5347 patients with a median total body surface area burn decile of 20%-29%, mean age of 51.6 yrs, and mean number of comorbidities of 7.6. There were 2809 unique International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, comorbidity codes. The Charlson Comorbidity Index, Elixhauser Comorbidity Index, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Comorbidity Tiers did not capture 67%, 27%, and 58% of the subjects, respectively. There were 107 unique comorbidities that occurred with a frequency of greater than 1%. Of these, 67% were not captured in all three comorbidity measures.
Commonly used comorbidity indexes do not reflect the extent of comorbid disease in the burn rehabilitation population. Future work is needed to assess the need for comorbidity indexes specific to the inpatient rehabilitation setting.
No preview · Article · Aug 2014 · American journal of physical medicine & rehabilitation / Association of Academic Physiatrists
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Emerging bacterial resistance renders many antibiotics ineffective, making alternative strategies of wound disinfection important. Here the authors report on a new, physical burn wound disinfection method: pulsed electric fields (PEFs). High voltage, short PEFs create nonthermal, permanent damage to cell membranes, possibly by irreversible electroporation. In medicine, PEF technology has recently been used for nonthermal ablation of solid tumors. The authors have expanded the spectrum of PEF applications in medicine to burn wound disinfection. A third-degree burn was induced on the dorsal skin of C57BL/6 mice. Immediately after the injury, the burn wound was infected with Acinetobacter baumannii expressing the luxCDABE operon. Thirty minutes after infection, the infected areas were treated with 80 pulses delivered at 500 V/mm, 70 μs, 1 Hz. The authors used bioluminescence to quantify bacteria on skin. Three animals were used for each experimental condition.PEFs were effective in the disinfection of infected burned murine skin. The bacterial load reduction correlated with the number of delivered pulses. Forty pulses of 500 V/mm led to a 2.04 ± 0.29 Log10 reduction in bacterial load; 80 pulses led to the immediate 5.53 ± 0.30 Log10 reduction. Three hours after PEF, the bacterial reduction of the skin treated with 500 V/mm, 80 pulses was 4.91 ± 0.71 Log10.The authors introduce a new method of wound disinfection using high voltage, short PEFs. They believe that PEF technology may represent an important alternative to antibiotics in addressing bacterial contamination of wounds, particularly those contaminated with multidrug-resistant bacteria.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Journal of burn care & research: official publication of the American Burn Association
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pruritus is a frequent and severe symptom and a significant cause of distress for adult burn patients. Its effects in children are largely unstudied. The aim of this study is to characterize postburn itch in the pediatric population. This is a retrospective review from 2006 to 2013 for pediatric burn survivors who were enrolled in a longitudinal multicenter outcomes study. Demographic data, injury characteristics, associated symptoms (skin-related problems, pain, and sleep), and incidence and intensity (Numerical Rating Scale) of itch were examined. Measures were completed at hospital discharge and at 6, 12, and 24 months after injury. Spearman's correlations were used to examine the correlation between itch intensity and associated symptoms. Multivariate regression analyses examined the impact of associated symptoms on itch intensity. There were 430 pediatric burn survivors with a mean age of 7.8 years and a mean TBSA of 40.8%. Pruritus is present in most children (93%) and is of moderate intensity (5.7 ± 3.1) at discharge. The frequency and intensity of pruritus decreases over time; a majority of children continue to report symptoms at 2 years (63%). Itch was significantly correlated with associated symptoms. Regression analyses showed a correlation between itch intensity and pain at each time point. There was no association between itch intensity and burn etiology, age, gender, or burn size. Pruritus is a frequent complication that lasts for at least 2 years after injury in a majority of pediatric burn survivors. This information will enable better tracking of outcomes and will serve as a baseline for assessing interventions.
No preview · Article · Aug 2014 · Journal of burn care & research: official publication of the American Burn Association
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The early management of burn patients requires a set of supportive procedures in addition to excision and closure operations. Most supportive procedures related to vascular access, tracheostomy, and enteral feeding access are identical to those required by trauma patients and are not covered here. Unique to this group of patients are the decompression procedures generally required in the first 12 to 24 hours of care. Subsequently, acute excision and closure operations dominate patients' needs. These operations have evolved in recent years to be less ablative, less bloody, and less physiologically stressful.
No preview · Article · Aug 2014 · Surgical Clinics of North America
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Burn units provide a unique set of resources to patients with complex wounds, sepsis, and organ failures. This resource set is useful in a number of traumatic, infectious, and medical conditions as well. Further, many burn patients have sustained simultaneous non-burn trauma which will be managed in burn programs.
No preview · Article · Aug 2014 · Surgical Clinics of North America
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Emerging bacterial resistance to multiple drugs is an increasing problem in burn wound management. New non-pharmacologic interventions are needed for burn wound disinfection. Here we report on a novel physical method for disinfection: antiseptic pulsed electric field (PEF) applied externally to the infected burns. In a mice model, we show that PEF can reduce the load of multidrug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii present in a full thickness burn wound by more than four orders of magnitude, as detected by bioluminescence imaging. Furthermore, using a finite element numerical model, we demonstrate that PEF provides non-thermal, homogeneous, full thickness treatment for the burn wound, thus, overcoming the limitation of treatment depth for many topical antimicrobials. These modeling tools and our in vivo results will be extremely useful for further translation of the PEF technology to the clinical setting, as they provide the essential elements for planning of electrode design and treatment protocol.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Children surviving serious burns are at risk for developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a function both of the injury and of its treatment. Short-term studies in such children have demonstrated reduced PTSD symptoms with intensive early pain control. However, the long-term impact of early pain control strategies on posttraumatic stress symptoms in children recovering from serious burn injuries has not been examined.
This was a retrospective review of a multiple time point data collection involving a cohort of 147 infants, children, and teenagers with 4 years of follow-up after serious burns conducted at 4 pediatric burn centers to examine the impact of early opiate dosing on long-term posttraumatic stress symptoms. The main outcome measure was the nine-item Short Form Child Stress Disorders Checklist, which is an established and validated assessment. The impact of total opiate dosing during the first 7 days on these scores was assessed.
Subjects had an average age of 11 years and average injury size of 22% total body surface area burned (%TBS). The correlation between opiate units (OUs) and %TBS was 0.46 at baseline, OU increasing with increasing %TBS. OUs were strongly predictive of Child Stress Disorders Checklist scores up to 4 years, with higher OU (10 units vs. 6 and 2 units) remaining constantly different up to 4 years in predicting lower stress scores for both smaller and larger burns.
Early opiate management of pain associated with acute burn wounds and burn treatment predicts the development and resolution rate of PTSD symptoms in a large multicenter sample of children hospitalized for serious burns. The effect seems to be dose related and durable at least up to 4 years in a range of burn sizes.
Prognostic/epidemiologic study, level II.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A large portion of the casualties admitted to military hospitals on the battlefield in Iraq comprise children, of whom 13% had burns. The U.S. Army Combat Support Hospital (CSH) in Baghdad, faced with an influx of such patients, successfully transferred selected burned children by commercial airlines to the Shriners Institute for Burned Children (SIBC) in Boston, Massachusetts. The authors aimed to document this process, from both an ethical and a procedural standpoint. Care was conducted in six phases: 1) admission to the CSH; 2) selection for transfer; 3) burn care at the CSH; 4) travel to the United States; 5) burn care at the SIBC; 6) return to Iraq. Transfer and SIBC care were funded by charitable organizations. A review of patient records was performed. Eight acutely burned pediatric patients participated in this program. All were successfully transferred, treated at the SIBC, and returned to Iraq. They ranged in age from 1.7 to 17 years and in burn size from 6 to 53% of the TBSA. At the SIBC, the hospital length of stay was 14 to 132 days; up to 23 visits to the operating room were performed for acute and reconstructive burn surgery. The cost of war includes the care of injured civilians, and includes burned children. For selected patients, transfer out of the combat zone is one method of fulfilling this obligation.
No preview · Article · Oct 2013 · Journal of burn care & research: official publication of the American Burn Association