The Pulmonary Complications in Severely Burned Patients
Improvements in the management of the shock phase of severe thermal injuries and better control of infection of the burned area have greatly reduced the early postburn mortality rate but have not significantly decreased the overall mortality rate. Pulmonary complications and severe systemic infections have become the major causes of death in the later stages of severe thermal injuries. Up to 30% of burn victims develop pulmonary complications. Regardless of the etiology of any pulmonary complications, when they become severe (as in acute respiratory failure) they must be dealt with as nonspecific pulmonary damage, the management and treatment of which is not very different from most other types of adult respiratory distress syndrome. In this paper we will discuss the etiology, pathophysiology, and management of respiratory complications in severely burned patients.
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