Metabolic Management of Patients with Severe Burns
Burn injury results in profound metabolic abnormalities perpetuated by an exaggerated stress response to injury. Hypermetabolism and marked catabolism, with rapid erosion of lean body mass, becomes evident shortly after injury. Much of the morbidity and mortality of a major burn can be attributed to this process, which increases infection risks, decreases the healing rate, and alters cell function. Rapid removal of devitalized burn tissue combined with early aggressive nutritional support significantly attenuates this autodestructive process. The addition of anabolic agents decreases the degree of lean mass loss and increases the rate of restoration. Immediate attention to the metabolic response to a severe burn significantly decreases complications and improves outcome.
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