Early fluid resuscitation improves outcomes in severely burned children
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BACKGROUND: Recent evidence suggests that timely fluid resuscitation can significantly reduce multiorgan failure and mortality in thermally injured children. In this study, children who received fluid resuscitation within 2 h of a thermal injury were compared with children in which fluid resuscitation was delayed by 2-12 h. We hypothesized that fluid resuscitation given within 2 h of a thermal injury attenuates renal failure, cardiac arrest, cardiac arrest deaths, incidence of sepsis, and overall mortality. METHODS: A retrospective chart review was made on 133 children admitted to our institute from 1982 to 1999 with scald or flame burns covering more than 50% of their body surface area. Comparisons between early (< 2 h of injury) or delayed (> or = 2 h of injury) fluid resuscitation were made in children experiencing renal failure, sepsis, non-survivors with cardiac arrest requiring pulmonary and advanced life support, and overall mortality. Comparisons were made using the chi2-test with Yates' continuity correction and joint binomial confidence intervals using the Bonferroni correction. RESULTS: The incidence of sepsis, renal failure, non-survivors with cardiac arrest, and overall mortality was significantly higher in burned children receiving fluid resuscitation that was delayed by 2 h or more compared with those receiving fluid resuscitation within 2 h of thermal injury (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Data suggest that fluid resuscitation, given within 2 h of a thermal injury, may be one of the most important steps in the prevention of multi-organ failure and mortality.
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