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Sepsis in burned patients

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Author(s): Macedo Jefferson Lessa S. de | Rosa Simone C. | Castro Cleudson

Journal: Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical
ISSN 0037-8682

Volume: 36;
Issue: 6;
Start page: 647;
Date: 2003;
Original page

Keywords: Burn | Sepsis | Hospital infection

ABSTRACT
A prospective study was conducted from June 2001 to May 2002 at the Burns Unit of Hospital Regional da Asa Norte, Brasília, Brazil. During the period of the study, 252 patients were treated at the Burns Unit, 49 (19.4%) developed clinically and microbiologically proven sepsis. Twenty-six (53.1%) were males and 23 (46.9%) females with a mean age of 22 years (range one to 89 years) and mean burned body surface area of 37.7 ± 18.4% (range 7 to 84%). Forty-three patients had flame burns, five a scald and one an electric burn. These 49 patients had a total of 62 septic episodes. Forty (81.6%) patients had only one and nine (18.4%) had up to three episodes of sepsis. Thirty (61.2%) patients had their first septicemic episode either earlier or by one week postburn. Out of 62 septic episodes, 58 were due to bacteria and four due to Candida sp. The most common bacteria isolated from blood culture were Staphylococcus aureus, coagulase-negative Staphylococcus, Acinetobacter baumannii, Enterobacter cloacae and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Eleven (18.9%) episodes were due to oxacillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Acinetobacter baumannii was sensitive to ampicillin/sulbactam in 71.4% and to imipenem in 85.7% of the cases. The primary foci of sepsis were the burn wound in 15 ( 24.2% ) episodes. The most common clinical findings of sepsis in these patients were fever, dyspnea, hypotension and oliguria. The most common laboratory findings of these patients were anemia, leukocytosis, hypoalbuminemia and thrombocytopenia. Twelve (24.5%) patients died. The appropriate knowledge of clinical, epidemiological, laboratorial and microbiological aspects of sepsis in burned patients permits an adequate diagnosis and treatment of this complication.
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