Management of burns during coronavirus disease pandemic: Single center experience and outcomes

Ulus Travma Acil Cerrahi Derg. 2021 Nov;27(6):677-683. doi: 10.14744/tjtes.2021.77088.


Background: Prolonged stays and multiple operations in burn management increase the risk of transmission. We would like to discuss our experience in hospitalized burn patients with Coronavirus disease (covid-19) infection.

Methods: In-patient burns with confirmed COVID-19 infection were studied. Age, gender, burned total body surface area (TBSA), number and sort of operations and dressing changes, intensive care unit stay, ward stay, total length of stay, and morbidity and mortality were analyzed. Medical staff observed for infection.

Results: The mean age of the 11 positive patients was 51 (±19.37) years and burned TBSA was 34.36% (±21.97%). Six (54.5%) patients presented with negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests; however, symptoms and findings revealed the illness. Patients underwent 85 operations including hydrosurgery. Totally, 475 dressing changes were done. Respiratory failure caused three mortalities without sepsis. Age, TBSA, and deep dermal burn percent of the mortalities showed no difference. None of the staff and hospitalized other patients had hospital acquired COVID-19 infection.

Conclusion: Healthcare must continue during pandemics. Awareness, proper usage of personal protective equipment, keeping social distance, and strengthened access control to the clinic are important priorities to avoid viral transmission. The difficulty in PCR negative patients was the confusing effect of burns as most of the laboratory and radiologic findings overlaps with the major burns' consequences. Findings, cannot be explained by the clinical course of burn, should indicate COVID infection. Regarding our results, burn patient treatment routines can be applied safely by competence to focused and re-adopted precautions as there were no hospital acquired COVID-19. Patients must trained for cross-contamination. Healthcare's must prioritize their own health under all situations including pandemics. Updating, the preventive cautions and rigid compliance are a must.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Burns* / epidemiology
  • Burns* / therapy
  • COVID-19*
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2