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Surgical Infections

Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):

, 17, 2, 250-255

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This review article discusses the epidemiology of burn infections, defines degrees of severity of infection, outlines the major organisms associated with burn wounds, and describes the specific organs and tissues susceptible to infection. The authors also discuss strategies for surveillance, sampling, and infection control in the burn intensive care unit. Developments in critical care and surgical approaches to treating burn wounds, together with newer antimicrobial treatments, have significantly reduced the morbidity and mortality rates associated with this injury. However, several resistant organisms have emerged as the maleficent cause of invasive infection in burn patients, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus, Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, non-albicans Candida spp., and Aspergillus. Advances in antimicrobial therapies and the release of new classes of antibiotics have certainly added to the armamentarium of therapeutic resources for the clinician. Nevertheless, strict infection control measures, constant wound surveillance with regular sampling of tissues for quantitative culture, and early excision and wound closure remain the principal adjuncts to control of invasive infections in burn patients.


Norbury, William, Herndon, David N., Tanksley, Jessica, Jeschke, Marc G., Finnerty, Celeste C.