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Prevention of Infections Associated With Combat-Related Burn Injuries

D'Avignon, Laurie C. MD; Chung, Kevin K. MD, FACP; Saffle, Jeffery R. MD, FACS; Renz, Evan M. MD, FACS; Cancio, Leopoldo C. MD, FACSthe Prevention of Combat-Related Infections Guidelines Panel

Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery: August 2011 - Volume 71 - Issue 2 - p S282-S289
doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e318227adc2
Review Article

Burns are a very real component of combat-related injuries, and infections are the leading cause of mortality in burn casualties. The prevention of infection in the burn casualty transitioning from the battlefield to definitive care provided at the burn center is critical in reducing overall morbidity and mortality. This review highlights evidence-based medicine recommendations using military and civilian data to provide the most comprehensive, up-to-date management strategies for initial care of burned combat casualties. Areas of emphasis include antimicrobial prophylaxis, debridement of devitalized tissue, topical antimicrobial therapy, and optimal time to wound coverage. This evidence-based medicine review was produced to support the Guidelines for the Prevention of Infections Associated With Combat-Related Injuries: 2011 Update contained in this supplement of Journal of Trauma.

From the US Air Force Medical Support Agency (L.C.D.), Lackland Air Force Base, Texas; Burn Center, US Army Institute of Surgical Research (K.K.C., E.M.R., L.C.C.), Fort Sam Houston, Texas; and Department of Surgery, University of Utah (J.R.S.), Salt Lake City, Utah.

Submitted for publication April 22, 2011.

Accepted for publication June 3, 2011.

Supported by the US Army Medical Command for the consensus conference and publication of the Journal of Trauma supplement.

The opinions or assertions contained herein are the private views of the authors and are not to be construed as official or reflecting the views of the Department of the Air Force, Department of the Army, Department of the Navy, Department of Defense, or the US Government. This work was prepared as part of their official duties; and, as such, there is no copyright to be transferred.

Address for reprints: Laurie C. D'Avignon, USAF, MC, Global Health Engagement Branch, AFMSA/SGXI, 2200 Berguist Drive, Lackland Air Force Base, TX 78235; email:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.