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Burns. 2000 Jun;26(4):359-66.

Staphylococcal septicaemia in burns.

Author information

1
Al-Babtain Centre for Plastic Surgery and Burns, Ibn Sina Hospital, Safat, Kuwait. gang@kma.org.kw

Abstract

This study analyses staphylococcal septicaemia in a series of 1516 burn patients who were admitted to the burn unit of the Al-Babtain Centre for Burns and Plastic Surgery, Ibn Sina Hospital, Kuwait over a period of 6.5 years (1 June 1992-31 December 1998). One hundred and nine patients (7.2%) developed clinically and microbiologically proven septicaemia, of which 80 (73.4%) showed one or the other type of Staphylococcus in their blood. Fifty (62.5%) of them were males and 30 (37.5%) females, with a mean age of 26 years and the mean total body surface area of burns (TBSA) of 45% (range 1-93%). Preschool age children comprised 27.5% of the patients. Flame was the dominant (80%) cause of burn. Of the 80 patients who had 91 episodes of septicaemia, 52 (65%) had MRSA, 8 (10%) MSSA, 11 (13.8%) MRSE and 5 (6.2%) MSSE and 4 (5%) others had mixed organisms. Only the patients with MRSA had multiple episodes. Eight patients (10%) showed septicaemic episodes within only 48 h of admission; however, the majority of the patients (77.5%) had a septicaemic attack within 2 weeks postburn. Of the 52 MRSA septicaemic cases, 39 (75%) survived and 13 (25%) died. Four patients with septicaemia due to mixed infections died. A total of 19 patients were intubated, 14 due to inhalation injury and 5 because of septicaemia; all in the former group died. Glycopeptide therapy (vancomycin/teicoplanin) was instituted immediately following the detection of staphylococci in the blood. No significant difference was noted in relation to mortality amongst the septicaemic patients, whether or not on prophylactic antibiotic. Fifty-six (70%) of the 80 patients had 139 sessions of skin grafting and survived. Of the 52 MRSA patients, 40 had 101 sessions of skin grafting and 33 of them survived. The apparent low mortality was probably due to early detection of the organism, appropriate antibiotic therapy, care for nutrition and early wound cover. This study indicates a high incidence of staphylococcal septicaemia (especially due to MRSA) in the burn unit. A surface wound is the likely source of entry to the blood stream in these immunocompromised patients. The organism could be detected in blood as early as 48 h postburn and in as little TBSA burn as 1% in this MRSA endemic unit. Inhalation injury with major burns and added staphylococcal septicaemia invariably proved to be fatal.

Comment in

PMID:
10751704
DOI:
10.1016/s0305-4179(99)00170-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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