Smoke inhalation increases intensive care requirements and morbidity in paediatric burns

Burns. 2016 Aug;42(5):1111-1115. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2016.02.010. Epub 2016 Jun 6.


Burn survival has improved with advancements in fluid resuscitation, surgical wound management, wound dressings, access to antibiotics and nutritional support for burn patients. Despite these advancements, the presence of smoke inhalation injury in addition to a cutaneous burn still significantly increases morbidity and mortality. The pathophysiology of smoke inhalation has been well studied in animal models. Translation of this knowledge into effectiveness of clinical management and correlation with patient outcomes including the paediatric population, is still limited. We retrospectively reviewed our experience of 13 years of paediatric burns admitted to a regional burn's intensive care unit. We compared critical care requirements and patient outcomes between those with cutaneous burns only and those with concurrent smoke inhalation injury. Smoke inhalation increases critical care requirements and mortality in the paediatric burn population. Therefore, early critical care input in the management of these patients is advised.

Keywords: Critical care requirements; Paediatric intensive care; Smoke inhalation; cutaneous burns.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Burns / complications
  • Burns / mortality
  • Burns / therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Critical Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Multiple Organ Failure / etiology
  • Regression Analysis
  • Respiration, Artificial / statistics & numerical data
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sepsis / etiology
  • Smoke Inhalation Injury / complications
  • Smoke Inhalation Injury / mortality
  • Smoke Inhalation Injury / therapy*