Author(s): Deeb SA, Rosenberg RB, Wilkerson RJ, Griswold JA, Deeb SA, Rosenberg RB, Wilkerson RJ, Griswold JA
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Abstract Adrenal hemorrhage with subsequent insufficiency is a rare complication in the burn patient. The case of a previously healthy 3-year-old Latin American male who was a victim of child abuse is presented. He suffered a submersion injury in hot water leading to a 45\% total body surface area burn. An acute deterioration on the 7th post burn day was unresponsive to standard inotropic support and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Post mortem examination revealed bilateral adrenal hemorrhage that had not been present 2 days earlier. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first reported case in a pediatric burn patient. The clinical manifestations of adrenal insufficiency vary widely and can be easily confused with sepsis. High index of suspicion is necessary for early diagnosis and treatment. Serum cortisol level should be checked and steroid therapy implemented if sepsis syndrome is unresponsive to standard therapy in this setting. This early intervention may be the key to improved survival of the burn patient with a sudden unexplained deterioration resistant to well established resuscitation methods.
This article was published in Burns
and referenced in Journal of Forensic Research