You are watching: Burns to pediatric patients are generally considered more serious than burns to adults because:
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Ramin Jamshidi, MD*Thomas T. Sato, MD†*The Pediatric Surgeons of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ.†Division of Pediatric Surgery, Children’s Specialty Group, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, and The Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI.
Drs Jamshidi and Sato have disclosed no financial relationships relevant to this article. This commentary does not contain discussion of unapproved/investigative use of a commercial product/device.
Burns are a frequent cause of injury in children and adolescents. Clinicians should be familiar with initial assessment and management of burns and be capable of identifying burn injuries appropriate for referral to a regional burn center.
After reading this article, readers should be able to:
List 3 types of burn injuries.
Describe the initial evaluation of a burned child in terms of burn depth, size, and associated injuries or medical conditions.
Describe appropriate burns for outpatient management.
Estimate initial fluid resuscitation requirements for the first 24 hours in children with large (>25% total body surface area) partial-thickness burns.
Describe 2 methods of dressing management for a 5% total body surface area partial-thickness burn.
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Recognize indications for transfer of a burned child to a regional burn center.
Death from fires and burn injuries is the third leading cause of fatal home injury and the third leading cause of unintentional death in children younger than 14 years in the United States. (1) In 2009, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated 437 deaths and 120,761 nonfatal burn injuries in children age 0 to 19 years. (2) Although hospitalization rates for children with burns appear to be decreasing in the past decade, annual cost estimates of approximately 10,000 inpatient hospitalizations for pediatric burn care exceeded $211 million in 2000. (3) Although it is difficult to estimate the global incidence rate, morbidity, and mortality of burn injuries, it is clear that burns are a major cause of injury in both developed and developing countries. (4) Burns are one of the most physiologically and psychologically stressful injuries that occur in children and adults. Given the …