Objective: A subset of children with scald burns develops respiratory failure despite no direct injury to the lungs. We examined these patients in an effort to elucidate the etiology of the respiratory failure. Methods: The charts of pediatric patients with greater than 10% total body surface area (TBSA) scald burns were reviewed. Age, weight, burn distribution, percentage of TBSA burned, resuscitation volumes, Injury Severity Score, evidence of abuse, length of stay, days in the intensive care unit, and time and duration of intubation were recorded. Results: Two hundred thirty-two patients met our inclusion criteria. Of these, 220 patients did not require intubation, and 12 of the patients did. No patient older than 3 years or with burns less than 15% TBSA required intubation. Fluid over resuscitation was not directly associated with respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation. Conclusions: We report the largest published series of patients with scald burns requiring mechanical ventilation in the absence of direct airway injury. Five percent of pediatric patients required mechanical ventilation after scald injury. We believe that a combination of causes including fluid resuscitation, young patient age, small patient size, and possible activation of the systemic inflammatory immune response may be responsible for the respiratory failure.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health