Author(s): Ofri A, Harvey JG, Holland AJ
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Abstract Upper aero-digestive and respiratory tract burns may occur in isolation or in association with cutaneous burn injury. Major respiratory burns have been linked with a high mortality and morbidity. Despite the importance of these injuries there have been few studies in children. A retrospective case note review between December 2000 and March 2011 of all pediatric upper aero-digestive and respiratory tract burns referred to the New South Wales Statewide Burn Injury Service was performed. Data were collected on patient characteristics, injury details, requirement for intubation, length of stay (LOS), morbidity and mortality. There were 33 patients diagnosed, with a median age of 5.4 years and a male to female ratio of 1.2:1. Mechanism of injury was ingestion of a caustic material (n=15), flame (n=11) or scald (n=7). Overall 14 (42\%) patients were intubated; the majority associated with burns to the face (79\%) and oropharynx (64\%). Median LOS was 6 days (range 3 to 23). Of those patients admitted to intensive care, 50\% had a positive bacterial culture. The most common sites of infection were tracheal/endotracheal (80\%) and burn sites (44\%). There were 2 (6\%) deaths in the series. Whilst the majority of children with upper airway and respiratory tract burns required intubation, the overall morbidity and mortality was low compared to adult series. This may reflect that a number of children suffered an upper aero digestive tract burn following ingestion of a caustic material or hot liquids, rather than a lower tract, inhalational flame burn.
This article was published in Int J Burns Trauma
and referenced in Health Care : Current Reviews