Care of burn-injured patients requires knowledge of the pathophysiologic changes affecting virtually all organs from the onset of injury until wounds are healed. Massive airway and/or lung edema can occur rapidly and unpredictably after burn and/or inhalation injury. Hemodynamics in the early phase of severe burn injury is characterized by a reduction in cardiac output and increased systemic and pulmonary vascular resistance. Approximately 2 to 5 days after major burn injury, a hyperdynamic and hypermetabolic state develops. Electrical burns result in morbidity much higher than expected based on burn size alone. Formulae for fluid resuscitation should serve only as guideline; fluids should be titrated to physiologic endpoints. Burn injury is associated basal and procedural pain requiring higher than normal opioid and sedative doses. Operating room concerns for the burn-injured patient include airway abnormalities, impaired lung function, vascular access, deceptively large and rapid blood loss, hypothermia, and altered pharmacology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine