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Burns. 2002 Feb;28(1):39-46.

A prospective study of infections in burn patients.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, Karolinska Hospital, SE-171 76, Stockholm, Sweden.


In a 3-year prospective study, all infections presenting in the burns unit of a university hospital were registered in a specially designed database. Two-hundred and thirty adult patients were included. Eighty-three patients had in all 176 infections, giving an infection rate of 48 per 1000 patient days including both nosocomial and community-acquired infections. Thirty-five blood-stream infections (BSI) occurred in 22 patients; most common micro-organisms were coagulase-negative staphylococci and methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus. The device-specific BSI rate was 6 per 1000 central venous catheter days, which is low compared to other burn units. The pneumonia rate was 41 per 1000 ventilator days. Seventy-two patients had 107 burn wound infections. Antibiotics were given to only 50% of the burn patients, including 96% of the patients with infection and 26% of those without infection. Most frequently used antimicrobials were cloxacillin, penicillin and gentamicin. The antibiotic resistance rates were low, and multi-resistant bacteria or fungi were rare. The database can be used to evaluate the effects of changes in burn treatment, staffing and design of burn units, and antimicrobial resistance development in relation to antibiotic usage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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