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Sepsis in pediatric burn patients

Sheridan, Robert L. MD

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine:
Predisposition to Sepsis

Objective: To review the specific infections common in pediatric burns, including their categorization, diagnosis, and treatment.

Design: Review of the literature and expert opinion.

Results: Children with serious burns are prone to a host of septic complications. This proclivity to infection is secondary to the immunosuppressive effect of burn injury, the loss of the skin and mucosal physical barriers, and the requirement for invasive support devices.

Conclusion: Sepsis is common in the pediatric burn patient and can markedly increase morbidity and mortality. Anticipation, prompt diagnosis of infection, and effective therapy can result in successful outcomes for many of these children.

Author Information

From the Department of Surgery, Division of Burns, Shriners Hospital for Children, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

This work was supported by the Mannion Family Fund—Center for the Critically Ill Child, Division of Critical Care Medicine at Children's Hospital Boston, the PALISI Network, and the ISF.

©2005The Society of Critical Care Medicine and the World Federation of Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care Societies