Sepsis is a major cause of death worldwide and remains the subject of much research and debate within the critical care community. Despite advances in burn prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation, sepsis remains a common cause of death in patients who have sustained a severe burn injury. The unique physical, metabolic, and physiologic changes seen after major thermal injury mean that the management of sepsis in burns poses a particular challenge and differs in many respects to the management of sepsis in the general critical care population. This article describes current issues in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of sepsis in burns with a review of the associated literature. In addition, we discuss possible future therapies for managing this condition.
From the *Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University Hospital North Staffordshire, Stoke on Trent; †Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester; and ‡Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University Hospital North Durham, Durham, United Kingdom.
Received June 17, 2009, and accepted for publication, after revision, November 6, 2009.
Reprints: Elizabeth Chipp, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University Hospital North Staffordshire, Newcastle Rd, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, United Kingdom ST4 6QG. E-mail: email@example.com.