Pediatric Thermal Burns and Treatment: A Review of Progress and Future Prospects

Medicines (Basel). 2017 Dec 11;4(4):91. doi: 10.3390/medicines4040091.


Burn injuries are a devastating critical care problem. In children, burns continue to be a major epidemiologic problem around the globe resulting in significant morbidity and death. Apparently, treating these burn injuries in children and adults remains similar, but there are significant physiological and psychological differences. The dermal layer of the skin is generally thinner in neonates, infants, and children than in adults. Enhanced evaporative loss and need for isotonic fluids increases the risk of hypothermia in the pediatric population. The pain management of the children with major burns challenges the skills of the personnel of every unit. Managing these wounds requires intensive therapeutic treatment for multi-organ dysfunction, and surgical treatment to prevent sepsis and other complications that further delay wound closure. Alternatives to the practice of donor site harvest and autografting for the treatment of severe burns and other complex skin defects are urgently needed for both adult and pediatric populations. This review article focuses on thermal burn pathophysiology and pain management and provides an overview of currently approved products used for the treatment of pediatric burn wounds. A new promising approach has been presented as a first-line therapy in the treatment of burns to reduce surgical autografting in pediatric patients.

Keywords: autograft; biological skin substitute; burns; pediatric; thermal; treatment.

Publication types

  • Review