The burn wound is the dominant feature of the burned patient. It differentiates burned patients from other critically ill patients, accounts for the majority of the work involved in caring for the patient, and is responsible for most of the physiological derangements which are associated with critical burn injury. The central theme of modern burn care is support of the patient while achieving the most rapid wound closure that he or she can tolerate. As wound closure is accomplished, priorities shift from survival to function and appearance.

Chapter References

American Burn Association (1990). Hospital and prehospital resources for optimal care of patients with burn injury: guidelines for development and operation of burn centers. Journal of Burn Care and

Rehabilitation, 11, 98-104.

Anous, M.M. and Heimbach, D.M. (1986). Causes of death and predictors in burned patients more than 60 years of age. Journal of Trauma, 26, 135-9. Dimick, A.R. (1994). Initial management of thermal injuries using the advanced burn life support protocol. Problems in General Surgery, 11, 559-65. Heggers, J.P. and Robson, M.C. (ed.) (1991). Quantitative bacteriology: its role in the armamentarium of the surgeon. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

Lingnau, W.W., Nguyen, T.T., Woodson, L.C., Herndon, D.N., and Prough, D.S. (1996). Critical care of burn complications. In Total burn care (ed. D.N. Herndon), pp. 319-45. W.B. Saunders, London.

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