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Emerg Med J. 2012 Dec;29(12):1017-8. doi: 10.1136/emermed-2012-202054.4.

Towards evidence based emergency medicine: Best BETs from the Manchester Royal Infirmary. BET 3: Vitamin C in severe burns.

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Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK.


A short-cut systematic review was carried out to establish whether high-dose vitamin C can lead to lower fluid requirements, faster recovery and lower mortality in adult patients with burns of over 15% total body surface area (TBSA). Four studies were directly relevant to the question. The author, date and country of publication, patient group studied, study type, relevant outcomes, results and study weaknesses of these papers are tabulated. The clinical bottom line is that preliminary evidence suggests vitamin C can reduce the volume required for fluid resuscitation, improve wound healing and reduce ventilation requirements in patients with severe burns. Further evidence from large trials is required to confirm this promising early evidence.

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