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J Trauma. 1978 Mar;18(3):188-93.

Prospective trials of dexamethasone and aerosolized gentamicin in the treatment of inhalation injury in the burned patient.


The addition of an inhalation injury to a cutaneous burn results in a significant increase in patient mortality rates, both from early pulmonary edema and, later, Gram-negative pneumonitis. Steroids have been shown to decrease mortality in an inhalation injury model. Aerosolization of gentamicin has been used successfully to treat severe bronchial infections. Therefore, a prospective, randomized trial was undertaken to evaluate both these drugs. Sixty burned patients, with inhalation injury confirmed by bronchoscopy and 133Xenon scan, were studied: 30 patients received either dexamethasone or saline placebo for 3 days; serial pulmonary functions were measured on those able to cooperate; another 30 patients received either aerosolized gentamicin or placebo for 10 days. Both drug-treated groups were comparable to their controls in age and mean burn size. Results of the steroid trial showed no major differences in mortality, pulmonary complications, or changes in pulmonary functions. Results of the gentamicin trial showed no major differences in mortality, time of death, or pulmonary and septic complications between treated and control groups.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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