The quality of life after major thermal injury in children: An analysis of 12 survivors with ≥80% total body, 70% third-degree burns

David N. Herndon, Jean Lemaster, Sylvia Beard, Norman Bernstein, Stephen R. Lewis, Thomas C. Rutan, James B. Winkler, Melvin Cole, Dana Bjarnason, Dennis Gore, E. Burke Evans, Manu Desai, Hugo Linares, Sally Abston, Tim Van Osten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations

Abstract

Twenty-one children admitted between December 1981 and May 1985, with greater than 80% total body surface area burn (TBSAB), underwent total excision and grafting of all of their wounds within 72 hours of injury. Twelve survivors (with an average TBSAB of 89%, 82% third degree) were studied in detail describing the length of hospital stay (77 ± 10 days), number of operative procedures (7.8 ± 0.8), total blood loss (12 ± 2 blood volumes), the number of patients who experienced septic episodes (three), the number of patients who required amputation (four), range of motion, degree of scarring, ability to perform daily activities, and psychological adjustment. Physical impairment, according to standard scales, was approximately 60%; however, 50% of the children old enough to be tested were completely independent in activities of daily living. One third of the children had excessive fear, regression, and neurotic and somatic complaints, but all of them showed remarkable energy in adapting to their disabilities. We conclude that the final outcome, for these patients, can only be assessed as they achieve late adolescence and young adulthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)609-619
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Volume26
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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