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Volume XXVII

Number 2

June 2014

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61 The burn disease: a disease of great value in the cultural heritage of plastic surgery
(Mazzoleni F. - Italy)
In 1961 I began my career as a plastic surgeon at the Department of Plastic Surgery of the Civic Hospital of Padua. In those years, the department was headed by its founder, Prof. G. Dogo, who had just gained his independence to work within the discipline of surgery. Its key feature consisted, at its core, in an entirely new section for those times: the Burn Centre, later known as the "Intensive Care Unit for Acute Burn Victims." At that time, Prof. Masellis, the founder of the Mediterranean Burn Club, was also working among us. The department was still dealing with the disastrous traumatic pathologies that the Italian population had from the Second World War. The beds were still largely occupied by patients suffering from war injuries caused by bomb explosions and fires. These were the reason for the creation of the Burn Centre and subsequently for the promotion of the establishment of a department of plastic surgery. I therefore had the opportunity to see a multitude of different clinical cases and to experiment with the various operation techniques known to plastic surgeons at the time. But it was not only the surgical aspect that fascinated me; I was fascinated by the burn as a disease - the extraordinary problems of their pathophysiology and the logic of treating them, generally and locally - no longer as had been suggested by vague suppositions, but by suggestive hypotheses based on clinical and experimental observations. Over the years, the skills involved in plastic surgery have expanded: its numerous therapeutic procedures have been applied to the treatment of many other diseases. But the burn-as-disease was always at the top of my cultural interests. It always had something to teach me, whether clinically, scientifically or ethically. Yes, even ethically, because the burn patient, like few others who are ill, truly challenges his physician's ethical core and moral strength. The contents of this piece of writing stem from "opinions" that the author has had in the practice of his profession while "listening and reading" everything that has happened to him during his work as a plastic surgeon over half a century. These opinions formed bit by bit; only now am I attempting to verify and justify them, intentionally seeking the bibliographic testimony and opinions of others.
70 Pediatric burns in Mosul: an epidemiological study
(Al-Zacko S.M., Zubeer H.G., Mohammad A.S. - Iraq)
A cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the characteristics and case fatality rate of pediatric burns in Mosul, Iraq. The study group was burn patients aged 14 years and under who were admitted to the Burns Unit in Al-Jamhoori Teaching Hospital from the 1st of March 2011 to the 1st of March 2012. Of the 459 emergency burn admissions, 209 (45.53%) were pediatric patients up to 14 years of age, with a mean age of 4.73±3.61 years. Scald was the most common type of burn and occurred mainly in domestic settings. The mean total body surface area (TBSA) burned was 19.73±17.15%. Thirty-five patients died during the study period, giving a case fatality rate of 16.75%. The maximum number of deaths occurred in the 2-4 years age group. The case fatality rate was high in patients having more than 40% TBSA involvement. Flame burns were significantly more fatal than scalds, with a fatality rate of 35.35% and 12.05% respectively; (p=0.0001). In conclusion, given that most pediatric burn accidents occur at home, burn prevention should be focused on improving living conditions and on providing an educational program for parents.
76 Prévention de la maladie thromboembolique veineuse chez le brűlé
(Siah S., El Farouki A. - Maroc)
Les complications thromboemboliques sont considérées comme rares chez le patient brűlé. Leur incidence varie selon les études réalisées. Les patients brűlés présentent de nombreux facteurs de risque favorisant la survenue de ces complications. Le diagnostic clinique de la thrombose veineuse profonde et de l'embolie pulmonaire reste difficile vu leur évolution infraclinique et la non spécificité des signes cliniques. L'échodoppler veineux et l'angioscanner thoracique constituent les éléments clés dans la stratégie diagnostique de la thrombose veineuse profonde et de l'embolie pulmonaire chez les patients brűlés. Le traitement ne diffčre pas de celui administré aux autres patients non brűlés et victimes de la thrombose veineuse profonde et de l'embolie pulmonaire. La prophylaxie controversée entre les auteurs, est un sujet d'actualité. Plusieurs praticiens et organismes recommandent son utilisation de routine chez les patients brűlés ŕ risque. Elle reste le seul moyen capable d'empęcher la survenue de la maladie thromboembolique veineuse capable d'engager le pronostic vital chez ces patients. Nous rapportons 6 observations de patients brűlés ayant développé une maladie thromboembolique veineuse.
82 High voltage electrical injury: an 11-year single center epidemiological study
(Lipový B., Kaloudová Y., ?? Ríhová H., Chaloupková Z., Kempný T., Suchanek I., Brychta P. - Czech Republic)
The aim of our study was to retrospectively evaluate the epidemiological characteristics of patients with high voltage electrical injury from 1999 to 2009. The Clinic of Burns and Reconstructive Surgery, Faculty Hospital Brno is located in a region of 2,505,000 inhabitants. In total 13,911 patients (including both children and adults, and outpatients as well as hospitalized patients) were treated at our burn center during the period of study. Of these patients, 1,030 were hospitalized for burns treatment. For the purposes of this study, we have included only patients with high voltage electrical trauma, of which there were 58, 2 of whom were female. Basic epidemiological indicators were gathered on these patients, including age, gender, place of accident, extent of trauma, mortality and whether the injury was occupational or non-occupational. Electrical burns (caused by both low-voltage and high-voltage electric current) made up 1.10% of all burns treated in our burn center and high voltage electrical injuries represented 0.42% of all burn injuries. The average incidence of high voltage electrical trauma was 0.21 cases/100,000 inhabitants. The average age of the patients was 28.59 years. Nine patients died and the mortality was fixed at 15.52%. The average length of hospitalization was 53.43 days. The average extent of burnt area was 35.01% TBSA. In our study, we were able to define the basic epidemiological parameters in 58 patients with high voltage electrical trauma. We also have to highlight the still disappointingly high number of non-occupational electrical injuries affecting those in the lower age groups, especially children. However, preventive programmes for educating specific risk groups have shown positive results.
87 Telemedicine and burns: an overview
(Atiyeh B., Dibo S.A., Janom H.H. - Lebanon)
Access to specialized burn care is becoming more difficult and is being restricted by the decreasing number of specialized burn centers. It is also limited by distance and resources for many patients, particularly those living in poverty or in rural medically underserved communities. Telemedicine is a rapidly evolving technology related to the practice of medicine at a distance through rapid access to remote medical expertise by telecommunication and information technologies. Feasibility of telemedicine in burn care has been demonstrated by various centers. Its use facilitates the delivery of care to patients with burn injuries of all sizes. It allows delivery of acute care and can be appropriately used for a substantial portion of the long-term management of patients after a burn by guiding less-experienced surgeons to treat and follow-up patients more appropriately. Most importantly, it allows better effective triage which reduces unnecessary time and resource demanding referrals that might overwhelm system capacities. However, there are still numerous barriers to the implementation of telemedicine, including technical difficulties, legal uncertainties, limited financial support, reimbursement issues, and an inadequate evidence base of its value and efficiency.
94 The use of telemedicine in burn care: development of a mobile system for TBSA documentation and remote assessment
(Parvizi D., Giretzlehner M., Dirnberger J., Owen R., Haller H.L., Schintler M.V., Wurzer P., Lumenta D.B., Kamolz L.P. - Austria)
The requirements for accurate documentation within the process of burn assessment have increased dramatically over the years. TBSA (total body surface area) and burn depth are commonly determined by visual inspection, especially in the emergency or acute care setting. However, inexperience often results in incorrect estimation of these factors. In 2001, BurnCase 3D was initiated in order to develop a tool for objective burn assessment and documentation on mobile devices (Apple iPhoneTM). The centerpiece is a 3D model representing the actual patient. At two international burn meetings, a survey containing three pictures of patients was conducted and this data was collected. A patient-specific 3D model adapted to the height and weight of the real patient was created and the digital picture was superimposed in the computer system. The burns were transferred to the model and the TBSA in % was calculated by the software BurnCase 3D. The preferred methods of the 80 respondents for burn extent estimation were: the Rule of Nines (38%), the Rule of Palm (37%) and the Lund-Browder chart (18%). Analysis showed very high deviations of TBSA within the participants, even among the group of experts. In comparison to a computer-aided method we found massive overestimation of up to 230%. The use of BurnCase 3D could have a true impact on the quality of treatment in burns. In the acute care setting for burn injuries, telemedicine has great potential to help guide decisions regarding triage and transfer based on TBSA, burn depth, patient age and injury mechanism.
101 Smartphones and burn size estimation: "Rapid Burn Assessor"
(Kamolz L.P., Lumenta D.B., Parvizi D., Dirnberger J., Owen R., Höller J., Giretzlehner M. - Austria)
Estimation of the total body surface area burned (%TBSA) following a burn injury is used in determining whether to transfer the patient to a burn center and the required fluid resuscitation volumes. Unfortunately, the commonly applied methods of estimation have revealed inaccuracies, which are mostly related to human error. To calculate the %TBSA (quotient), it is necessary to divide the burned surface area (Burned BSA) (numerator in cm2) by the total body surface area (Total BSA) (denominator in cm2). By using everyday objects (eg. credit cards, smartphones) with well-defined surface areas as reference for estimations of Burned BSA on the one hand and established formulas for Total BSA calculation on the other (eg. Mosteller), we propose an approximation method to assess %TBSA more accurately than the established methods. To facilitate distribution, and respective user feedback, we have developed a smartphone app integrating all of the above parameters, available on popular mobile device platforms. This method represents a simple and ready-to-use clinical decision support system which addresses common errors associated with estimations of Burned BSA (=numerator). Following validation and respective user feedback, it could be deployed for testing in future clinical trials. This study has a level of evidence of IV and is a brief report based on clinical observation, which points to further study.
105 Frostbite injury of the breast: a case report
(Öksüz S., Eren F., Sever C., Ülkür E. - Turkey)
This paper presents an unusual case of frostbite injury to the breast area caused by faulty cryotherapy application. Cryotherapy, commonly used by patients and health professionals, relieves pain and edema after trauma and sports injuries. However, applying cold therapy is not common for surgical procedures involving soft tissue. The frostbite injury to the breast presented here occurred due to persistent use of a self-prepared ice pack following a needle aspiration biopsy. Cold exposure to soft tissue may cause frostbite. It is crucial to inform patients about proper application of cryotherapy and possible complications, particularly for the procedures in which cold therapy is not widely used.
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