The beneficial effects of growth hormone on wound healing in severely burned children were studied. Forty patients who were 2 to 18 years old, with 40% or more total body surface area (TBSA) and 20% or more TBSA full-thickness flame or scald burns, were randomized in a double-blind study to receive placebo or 0.1 mg/kg/day recombinant human growth hormone (rHGH) until the first donor site healed or to receive 0.2 mg/kg/day rHGH or placebo from admission throughout hospitalization. Patients receiving 0.2 mg/kg/day rHGH demonstrated significantly higher serum IGF-1 levels at 4.8 ± 1.7 U/mL compared to placebos at 1.6 ± 0.4 U/mL (p < 0.05) and a significant decrease in donor-site healing times compared to placebo (p < 0.05). Length of hospital stay (LOS/%TBSA) was decreased from 0.80 ± 0.10 days/%TBSA burned in the placebo group to 0.54 ± 0.04 days/%TBSA burned in the 0.2 mg/kg/day treatment group (p < 0.05). This translates, for the average 60% TBSA burned patient, to a decrease in LOS from 46 to 32 days.
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