[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Palmar hand burns continue to be a common injury in the pediatric population, with long-term implications for function, hand rehabilitation, and psychosocial well-being in a growing child. Debate over the choice of full thickness skin grafts (FTSG) and split skin grafts (SSG) for optimal subsequent functional and cosmetic outcomes continues. This study prospectively evaluated children who required skin grafting of palmar burns at our institution between January 2008 and December 2009. A clinical assessment of the grafted area and donor site using the Vancouver Scar Scale, together with assessment of sensation, hair growth, and the development of contracture was performed by an independent clinician. Thirty-four (16%) of 214 palm burns that presented to our institution during this period required grafting, of which 26 (77%) agreed to participate in this study. At a mean 13.5 months postsurgery, pliability was significantly enhanced in FTSG compared with SSG (P < .001). Although not statistically significant, vascularity and height of SSGs were preferred. There was no difference in sensation between the two types of graft or donor site outcomes, although hair growth was significantly (P = .002) more prominent in FTSG. There were an equal number of contractures in the two groups, with grafts of either type that extended from the palm onto the volar aspect of digits more commonly affected. These data suggest an improved outcome in children with deep palm burns after FTSG, although with the exception of scar pliability these differences were small.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2012 · Journal of burn care & research: official publication of the American Burn Association
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Accurate determination of burn size and depth forms an integral part of the initial assessment of any burn injury. Errors might lead to inaccurate fluid resuscitation and inappropriate transfer of patients to specialized burns units (BUs). Although recent data suggest some improvement in the estimation of burn injury in adults, this has not been shown in children.
A retrospective review of children with burn injuries referred to the BU of our institution was performed. Data were collected from all patients presenting to the BU during the calendar year 2009. The total body surface area burned (TBSA-B) estimated by the referring centre was compared with the actual TBSA determined measured on arrival at the BU.
Of the 71 paediatric patients referred during the study period, 10 did not have any TBSA-B estimation documented by the referring hospital. Inaccurate estimation of burn area was noted in 48 out of 61 patients (79%). Burn size was more likely to be overestimated than underestimated by a ratio of 2.2 to 1, especially in burns >10% TBSA-B (P= 0.002).
Inaccurate estimation of burn size remains a problem in children. The persistent miscalculation of burn size might be a result of the various methods employed in assessing burn area, the inclusion of simple erythema and inadequate training or exposure of first responders. Accurate assessment of TBSA-B and burn depth in children remains elusive and would appear to require additional training and education.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2012 · Emergency medicine Australasia: EMA
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: One sequelae of burn injury remains the development of hypertrophic scarring. This appears more likely when the healing has been prolonged. Early excision of deep dermal burns and subsequent split skin grafting (SSG) may provide a more favorable result. The optimal timing of grafting for deeper dermal burns remains controversial. This study sought to establish evidence for the optimal grafting time using a porcine model. Five Large White female pigs were exposed to four contact burn injuries for duration of 20 seconds at 92°C. Each site was randomized to a treatment arm: dressing only as the control, SSG day 3, SSG day 14, and SSG day 21. Burn wound biopsies were obtained at days 0, 3, 14, 21, and 99 after the burn injury, together with microbiological swabs. Digital photographs were taken to assess scarring using the Vancouver scar scale. All biopsies were subject to histological and immunohistochemical analysis. Vancouver scar scale scores and histopathological analysis indicated that areas grafted on day 3 had the least fibrosis and scarring (P = 0.031). There was a strong correlation between the histological evaluation of the degree of fibrosis and α-smooth muscle actin levels (r = .60, P = .014). A greater degree of fibrosis was observed in the presence of infection (P = .028). Sites grafted on day 3 consistently exhibited the best clinical and histological scar outcome. The increased fibrosis observed in delayed grafting may have been be related to progression of burn depth and infection. These results suggest that early grafting of deep dermal burns may be preferential.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2011 · Journal of burn care & research: official publication of the American Burn Association