Incidence of cardiac events in burned patients

Burns. 2003 Jun;29(4):367-8. doi: 10.1016/s0305-4179(03)00009-3.


Given the increased level of adrenergic stimulation in burn patients, it would be expected that they would experience an increased incidence of cardiac arrhythmias and other cardiac events. We performed a retrospective chart review of 56 acute burn patients matched by age, length of hospital stay, and sex to 56 trauma patients, all of whom had been continuously monitored electrocardiographically. Burn and trauma patients were similar in injury severity, admission laboratory values, and prior history of cardiopulmonary diseases. Arrhythmias were noted in 34% of burn patients and 28% of trauma patients. One myocardial infarction and six deaths occurred in burn patients. No myocardial infarctions or deaths were observed in trauma patients. A past history of cardiopulmonary disease increased the risk of myocardial infarction or death by 6.6 times. Cardiac arrhythmias and other events are relatively infrequent and benign in burn patients and are similar to those experienced by other patients with acute injuries.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / etiology
  • Burns / complications*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Electrocardiography / methods
  • Female
  • Heart Diseases / epidemiology
  • Heart Diseases / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Medical Records / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / etiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors