Massive Burns: Retrospective Analysis of Changes in Outcomes Indicators Across 18 Years

J Burn Care Res. 2022 Jan 5; 43(1):232-239. doi: 10.1093/jbcr/irab072.
Meuli, J. N., Pantet, O., Berger, M. M., Waselle, L., & Raffoul, W.


The treatment and management of massive burns, defined as burns affecting at least 50% of total body surface area (TBSA), have considerably changed since the 1990s. This study aimed at analyzing if the length of intensive care unit (ICU) stay, the success of skin grafting operations, and the mortality changed in the past 18 years. Between 2000 and 2018, 77 patients were admitted for massive burns to the ICU of a university hospital. Transfers and early care withdrawal precluded inclusion for 38 patients, leaving 39 for analysis. Study variables were year of admission, demographics, burn characteristics, critical care treatment (fluid resuscitation, ventilation, and nutrition), and surgical therapy. Association between outcomes and year of admission was assessed through correlation and logistic regression analysis. Potential confounders were assessed through stepwise linear regression. Patients' characteristics were stable over time with a median age of 36 (25.0-48.0) years, burns 65% (55.0-83.0) TBSA, and deep burns 55% (50.0-68.0) TBSA. Length of ICU stay remained stable at 0.97 (0.6-1.5) days/%TBSA. Mortality was stable as well. Energy and carbohydrate delivery decreased in parallel with the number of infectious episodes per patient. The number of operations was stable, but the take rate of skin grafts increased significantly. The multivariate analysis retained year of admission, weight, the total number of infections, daily lipid intakes, and fluid resuscitation as independent predicting variables.

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List of abbreviations

DGEM German Society for Nutritional Medicine (German Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährungsmedizin)
GESKES  Swiss Society for Clinical Nutrition (German Gesellschaft für klinische Ernährung der Schweiz) 
ESPEN European Society of Clinicl Nutrition and Metabolism