Burn Infections

  • Deirdre L. Church
  • Ingrid Slaba
  • Brent W. Winston
  • Robert Lindsay
Reference work entry


Burns are a common and devastating form of trauma. The incidence of burns worldwide severe enough to require medical attention in 2004 was nearly 11 million people, and ranked fourth in all injuries. Recent data from the USA estimate that approximately 450,000 upwards to 1.1 million burn injuries occurs per annum based on visits to hospital emergency departments. Moderate to severe burn injuries requiring hospitalization account for approximately 45,000 of these cases, of which 20,000 are major burns involving ≥25 % of the total body surface area. Based on selected statistics for admissions to Burn Centers in the USA, the overall survival rate from burn injury was 94.8 % in the past decade (2000–2009). Improved survival is attributed to medical advances in fluid resuscitation; nutritional support; pulmonary care; burn wound care, particularly early excision and wound closure; and use of modern infection control practices. Although approximately 3,500–4,500 patients currently die each year as a direct result of their burn injury, up to 10,000 patients die from burn-related infections, particularly sepsis from burn wound infection, or other sources often associated with inhalation injury. This chapter reviews our current understanding of the mechanism, pathogenesis, immune response, diagnosis, management, and prevention of burn wound infections.


Bacterial Translocation Thermal Injury Blood Stream Infection Total Body Surface Area Electrical Injury 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deirdre L. Church
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
  • Ingrid Slaba
    • 3
  • Brent W. Winston
    • 3
  • Robert Lindsay
    • 4
  1. 1.Departments of Pathology and Laboratory MedicineUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Departments of MedicineUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  3. 3.Departments of Critical CareUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  4. 4.Departments of Surgery, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  5. 5.Division of MicrobiologyCalgary Laboratory ServicesCalgaryCanada

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