Introduction: despite the frequency of pulmonary complications and the reports of abnormal lung function as a sequela of severe thermal injury, most of the lung function studies following thermal injury have been directed at the immediate post-burn period. This investigation is designed to evaluate late residual respiratory impairment in patients with severe thermal injury. Methods: spirometry and lung volumes were completed on 17 children with severe thermal injury 8 years post-injury. None of the patients had pre-existing lung disease prior to injury. Results: the patient demographic data was as follows: nine male, eight female patients; mean TBSB = 67 ± 29%; mean third degree = 62 ± 32%; 13 patients had inhalation injury diagnosed by bronchoscopy. Spirometry and lung volumes show: two patients had an obstructive disease process; nine patients had an obstructive and restrictive disease process; five patients had a purely restrictive process; and one patient had a diffusion defect. Conclusion: the data indicate that children who survive severe thermal injury may not regain normal lung function.
- Inhalation injury
- Respiratory function
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine