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J Craniofac Surg. 2008 Jul;19(4):951-9. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0b013e318175f42f.

Pediatric facial burns.

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  • 1Department of Plastic Surgery, Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, Case Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, USA.

Abstract

Despite major advances in the area of burn management, burn injury continues to be a leading cause of pediatric mortality and morbidity. Facial burns in particular are devastating to the affected child and result in numerous physical and psychosocial sequelae. Although many of the principles of adult burn management can be applied to a pediatric patient with facial burns, the surgeon must be cognizant of several important differences. Facial burns and subsequent scar formation can drastically affect the growth potential of a child's face. Structures such as the nose and teeth may become deformed due to abnormal external forces caused by contractures. Serious complications such as occlusion amblyopia and microstomia must be anticipated and urgently addressed to avert permanent consequences, whereas other reconstructive procedures can be delayed until scar maturation occurs. Furthermore, because young children are actively developing the concept of self, severe facial burns can alter a child's sense of identity and place the child at high risk for future emotional and psychologic disturbances. Surgical reconstruction of burn wounds should proceed only after thorough planning and may involve a variety of skin graft, flap, and tissue expansion techniques. The most favorable outcome is achieved when facial resurfacing is performed with respect to the aesthetic units of the face. Children with facial burns remain a considerable challenge to their caregivers, and these patients require long-term care by a multidisciplinary team of physicians and therapists to optimize functional, cosmetic, and psychosocial outcomes.

PMID:
18650717
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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