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J Burn Care Res. 2011 May-Jun;32(3):410-4. doi: 10.1097/BCR.0b013e318217f91b.

Thrombocytopenia in the pediatric burn patient.

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Shriners Hospitals for Children, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229, USA.


Thrombocytopenia is initially seen in patients with burn injury as a transient occurrence during the first week after injury. Subsequent decreases occur later in the course of treatment and are commonly due to sepsis, dilutional effects, and medication exposure. Although studies have demonstrated that thrombocytopenia in the critically ill patients is associated with a worse prognosis, there is limited literature as to the significance of thrombocytopenia in the pediatric burn patients. In this study, the authors evaluate the prognostic implications of thrombocytopenia in the pediatric burn patients. They performed a 5-year retrospective chart of patients aged 18 years or younger with burns >20% TBSA admitted to their institution. Data collected included patient demographics, burn etiology and %TBSA involvement, length of stay, pertinent laboratory values, and in-hospital morbidity and mortality. Of the 187 patients studied, thrombocytopenia occurred in 112 patients. Eighty-two percent demonstrated thrombocytopenia within the first week of injury and 18% demonstrated additional episodes of thrombocytopenia after this time. A reactive thrombocytosis occurred in 130 (70%) patients. The incidence of thrombocytopenia could not be attributed to age, gender, or burn etiology. However, patients with thrombocytopenia were more likely to have inhalation injury and extensive TBSA involvement than those without (P < .05). Sepsis was the cause of significant thrombocytopenia after the first week of hospitalization. Of the 187 patients, 14 died (7%). The incidence of thrombocytopenia in survivors and nonsurvivors was statistically significant in that nonsurvivors demonstrated a more profound drop in platelet count during the first week after injury and had a more depressed platelet recovery curve than survivors. The authors conclude that the early development of thrombocytopenia with depressed thrombocytosis in the pediatric burn patient is associated with increased mortality risk and is influenced by the extent of burn, inhalation injury, and the development of sepsis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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