University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository

University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository


Burn Surgery


Dr. Tom Colletti, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA


Purpose: After the initial resuscitation period, sepsis becomes a frequent cause of death in burn-injured patients, and due to physiologic changes resulting from the burn injury, it is difficult to diagnose. This article reviews various criteria, biomarkers, and machine learning used to diagnose sepsis in an adult burn-injured patient.

Methods: A PubMed and MEDLINE literature search was performed using the MeSH terms sepsis, septicemia, septic shock, burn, and thermal injury and limited to patients 18 years of age or older. Forty-three articles were chosen and are the basis for this clinical review.

Results: Evidence-based research has not identified a reliable method for identifying burn sepsis in adults.

Conclusion: Burn sepsis continues to be a difficult diagnosis and continues to have increased mortality rates. In 2007, the American Burn Association (ABA) published guidance assisting providers in identifying sepsis in adult burn-injured patients. In subsequent years, researchers studied scoring systems and biomarkers, assessing their accuracy in predicting burn sepsis in adult burn-injured patients. Current methods and diagnostic tests are inaccurate for diagnosing burn sepsis in adults. Further research is needed to correctly identify processes, biomarkers, or scoring systems to determine burn sepsis accurately.


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