Because of their extensive wounds, burn patients are chronically exposed to inflammatory mediators. Thus, burn patients, by definition, already have “systemic inflammatory response syndrome.” Current definitions for sepsis and infection have many criteria (fever, tachycardia, tachypnea, leukocytosis) that are routinely found in patients with extensive burns, making these current definitions less applicable to the burn population. Experts in burn care and research, all members of the American Burn Association, were asked to review the literature and prepare a potential definition on one topic related to sepsis or infection in burn patients. On January 20, 2007, the participants met in Tucson, Arizona to develop consensus for these definitions. After review of the definitions, a summary of the proceedings was prepared. The goal of the consensus conference was to develop and publish standardized definitions for sepsis and infection-related diagnoses in the burn population. Standardized definitions will improve the capability of performing more meaningful multicenter trials among burn centers.
From the *Department of Surgery, University of California, Davis and Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California, Sacramento, California; †Department of Surgery, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah; ‡Department of Surgery, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina; §Department of Surgery, Loyola University, Maywood, Illinois; ¶Department of Surgery, University of Texas, Dallas, Texas; ∥Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital and Shriners Hospitals for Children Boston, Massachusetts; **Department of Surgery, University of Texas Medical Branch and Shriners Hospitals for Children Galveston, Texas; ††Department of Surgery, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida; ‡‡Department of Surgery, University of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey; §§Department of Surgery, North Colorado Medical Center, Greeley, Colorado; ¶¶Department of Surgery, The Burn Center at Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC; ∥∥Department of Surgery, Regions Hospital, Saint Paul, Minnesota; ***Shriners Hospitals for Children Cincinnati and Department of Surgery, University of Cincinnati, Ohio; †††Department of Surgery, University of Texas Health Science Center—San Antonio, Texas; ‡‡‡Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Southern California Medical Center, Los Angeles, California; §§§Department of Surgery, Metro Health Medical Center/Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio; and ¶¶¶Department of Surgery, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.
This study was supported by the American Burn Association.
Proceedings of the Consensus Conference to Define Sepsis and Infection in Burns, Loew's Ventana Canyon Resort, Tucson, Arizona, January 20, 2007.
Address correspondence to David G. Greenhalgh, MD, Department of Surgery, University of California, Davis and Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California, 2425 Stockton Blvd., Sacramento, California 95817.