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Eur. Burn J., Volume 4, Issue 1 (March 2023) – 12 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Management of medium-size partial thickness injuries in paediatric burns is evolving with advancements in acute burn wound care. The BRACS pilot randomised controlled trial assessed the efficacy of silver, biological, or silicone-based dressings on burn wound re-epithelialisation in children. In a cohort of twenty-two patients, the application of a Regenerative Epidermal Suspension (RES™) onto acute partial thickness burns showed potential benefits including expedited re-epithelialisation, fewer adverse events, the least impact on scar-specific health-related quality of life, and the lowest health resource utilisation. However, a fully powered randomised control trial is needed to better understand these findings and the potential benefits of RES™ for the management of paediatric partial thickness burns. View this paper
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21 pages, 838 KiB  
Article
A Pilot Randomised Controlled Trial Evaluating a Regenerative Epithelial Suspension for Medium-Size Partial-Thickness Burns in Children: The BRACS Trial
by Anjana Bairagi, Zephanie Tyack, Roy Kimble, Dimitrios Vagenas, Steven M. McPhail and Bronwyn Griffin
Eur. Burn J. 2023, 4(1), 121-141; https://doi.org/10.3390/ebj4010012 - 22 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1721
Abstract
Background: There is little evidence regarding the efficacy of Regenerative Epidermal Suspension (RES™) management for paediatric partial-thickness burns. The Biobrane® RECELL® Autologous skin Cell suspension and Silver dressings (BRACS) Trial evaluated three dressings for the re-epithelialisation of partial-thickness burns in children. [...] Read more.
Background: There is little evidence regarding the efficacy of Regenerative Epidermal Suspension (RES™) management for paediatric partial-thickness burns. The Biobrane® RECELL® Autologous skin Cell suspension and Silver dressings (BRACS) Trial evaluated three dressings for the re-epithelialisation of partial-thickness burns in children. Methods: Eligible children (age ≤ 16 years; ≥5% TBSA; ≤48 h of injury) were randomised to silver dressings, RES™/Biobrane® or Biobrane®. The measured outcomes were the time to re-epithelialisation (primary outcome), pain, itch, intervention fidelity, treatment satisfaction, health-related quality of life, health resource utilisation and adverse effects. Results: The median time to re-epithelialisation in days was no different for RES™/Biobrane® at 12 (IQR: 5.6–18.4; n = 7) and slower by two days for Biobrane® at 14 (IQR: 6.3–21.7; n = 7) when compared to silver dressings 12 (IQR: 3.7–20.3; n = 8). Reduced pain, fewer infections, no sepsis, no skin graft, and the lowest impact on health-related quality of life were reported in the RES™/Biobrane® group compared to other groups. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, recruitment suspension resulted in a smaller cohort than expected and an underpowered study. Conclusions: The pilot trial findings should be interpreted cautiously; however, they indicate that a fully powered randomised controlled trial is warranted to substantiate the role of RES™ for medium to large paediatric partial-thickness burn management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management of Pediatric Burns)
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13 pages, 3363 KiB  
Article
High Expansion Auxetic Skin Graft Simulants for Severe Burn Injury Mitigation
by Vivek Gupta, Gurpreet Singh and Arnab Chanda
Eur. Burn J. 2023, 4(1), 108-120; https://doi.org/10.3390/ebj4010011 - 11 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1534
Abstract
Burn injuries are commonly treated with split-thickness skin grafting. However, low expansions offered by spilt-thickness skin grafting inhibit the treatment of large and severe burn injuries when limited donor skin is available. To overcome this gap, in this work, it was attempted to [...] Read more.
Burn injuries are commonly treated with split-thickness skin grafting. However, low expansions offered by spilt-thickness skin grafting inhibit the treatment of large and severe burn injuries when limited donor skin is available. To overcome this gap, in this work, it was attempted to study the expansion potential of skin grafts with novel auxetic incisions with rotating rectangle (RR), honeycomb (HC), alternating slit (AS), H-shaped (HS), Y-shaped (YS), and I-shaped (IS) unit cells, through development of skin graft simulants. Clinically relevant biaxial load testing was conducted to estimate the stress–strain response, void area, and meshing ratio. Moreover, hyperelastic constitutive models were employed to characterize the non-linear biomechanical behavior of the skin graft simulants. The maximum void area increase was observed in the HS skin graft simulant, indicating low skin cover. Overall, the IS auxetic skin graft design exhibited meshing ratio higher than traditional grafts (>3:1), low void area and stresses, which can be beneficial for large skin cover and burn wound healing. With further optimization and clinical tests, the auxetic skin graft designs may find a place with the graft manufacturers for fabrication of grafts with better surgical outcomes for severe burn injuries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidermal and Dermal Skin Substitutes in Burn Care)
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7 pages, 493 KiB  
Case Report
The Roles of Clinical Psychologists in Burns Care: A Case Study Highlighting Benefits of Multidisciplinary Care
by Anna V. Cartwright and Elizabeth Pounds-Cornish
Eur. Burn J. 2023, 4(1), 101-107; https://doi.org/10.3390/ebj4010010 - 06 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1556
Abstract
The British National Burn Care Standards highlight the importance of routine psychosocial screening to optimise psychological well-being following burn injury. Routine screening enables clinicians to identify those who may benefit from further psychological intervention. In this case, we outline how active follow-up from [...] Read more.
The British National Burn Care Standards highlight the importance of routine psychosocial screening to optimise psychological well-being following burn injury. Routine screening enables clinicians to identify those who may benefit from further psychological intervention. In this case, we outline how active follow-up from routine psychosocial screening and early intervention supports psychological recovery from a burn injury and how multidisciplinary care can be incorporated into cognitive therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder. This case also illustrates how psychologists are well positioned within physical healthcare to notice themes arising in patient care and use this to inform service development, for example, through staff training. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enhancing Psychosocial Burn Care)
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14 pages, 987 KiB  
Article
Frailty Screening Practice in Specialized Burn Care—A Retrospective Multicentre Cohort Study
by Charlotte I. Cords, Cornelis H. van der Vlies, Matthea Stoop, Marianne K. Nieuwenhuis, Kris Boudestein, Francesco U. S. Mattace-Raso, Margriet E. van Baar, FRAIL Group and Dutch Burn Repository Group
Eur. Burn J. 2023, 4(1), 87-100; https://doi.org/10.3390/ebj4010009 - 13 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1203
Abstract
Background: Frailty can have a negative influence on outcomes in elderly patients after burn injuries. The Dutch hospitals have used a four-domain frailty screening instrument from the Dutch Safety Management System (DSMS) since 2012. However, its feasibility and validity have hardly been studied. [...] Read more.
Background: Frailty can have a negative influence on outcomes in elderly patients after burn injuries. The Dutch hospitals have used a four-domain frailty screening instrument from the Dutch Safety Management System (DSMS) since 2012. However, its feasibility and validity have hardly been studied. We aim to assess the feasibility and validity of frailty screening in specialized burn care. Methods: A multicentre retrospective cohort study was conducted in all Dutch burn centres. Patients aged ≥ 70, with a primary admission between 2012–2018, were included. Data were derived from electronic patient files. Results: In total, 515 patients were included. Frailty screening was complete in 39.6% and partially complete in 23.9%. Determinants for a complete screening were admission after 2015 (OR = 2.15, 95% CI 1.42–3.25) and lower percentage TBSA burned (OR = 0.12, 95% CI 0.05–029). In all completely screened patients, 49.9% were at risk of frailty. At risk patients were older, had more comorbidities (known group validity), a longer length of stay, and more frequently a non-home discharge (predictive validity). Conclusion: Frailty screening in specialized burn care is feasible and was conducted in 63.5% of admitted patients. In total, 44% of screened patients were at risk of frailty. Validity of frailty screening was confirmed. Frailty screening can contribute to optimal specialized burn care. Full article
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7 pages, 381 KiB  
Article
Venous Thromboembolism in Severe Burns Patients with Intravascular Warming Catheter: A Retrospective Cohort Study
by Isabella Reid, Hadley Bortz, Aidan Burrell, Dashiell Gantner, Samara Rosenblum and Heather Cleland
Eur. Burn J. 2023, 4(1), 80-86; https://doi.org/10.3390/ebj4010008 - 12 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1090
Abstract
Background: Use of intravascular warming catheters following major burns has been shown to be effective to maintain normothermia, but their use may be associated with complications. The aim of this study was to determine what proportion of patients with an intravascular warming catheter [...] Read more.
Background: Use of intravascular warming catheters following major burns has been shown to be effective to maintain normothermia, but their use may be associated with complications. The aim of this study was to determine what proportion of patients with an intravascular warming catheter developed a potentially catheter-related venous thromboembolism (VTE) and to identify contributing risk factors. Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study of patients admitted to the Victorian Adult Burns Service January 2013 to July 2018 with major burns (TBSA > 20%) who had an ICYTM intravascular warming catheter. Warming catheter insertion and other details were identified with a manual search of the patients’ medical records by a single author while incidence of VTE was determined by the coding department from a central database. Results: Forty patients had an intravascular warming catheter inserted during the study period. The number of patients in the catheter group that sustained a VTE was eight (20%), of which four (10%) could have been catheter-related due to the anatomical location. In the cases of the four potentially catheter-related VTE, other preventable VTE risk factors including suboptimal prophylactic anticoagulation (n = 2), prolonged catheter duration (n = 1) and prolonged haemoconcentration (n = 2) were identified. Conclusions: We found 20% of major burns patients with an intravascular warming device had significant VTE; however, only half of these may have been related to the catheter. A careful assessment for each patient that balances risks and benefits should be undertaken prior to using intravascular warming devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current and Future Challenges in Reconstructive Burn Surgery)
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11 pages, 1552 KiB  
Article
Microbiological Findings and Clinical Outcomes in Ugandan Patients with Infected Burn Wounds
by Johannes Weinreich, Christina Namatovu, Sara Nsibirwa, Leah Mbabazi, Henry Kajumbula, Nadine Dietze, Christoph Lübbert, Hawah Nabajja, Joseph Musaazi, Charles Kabugo and Amrei von Braun
Eur. Burn J. 2023, 4(1), 69-79; https://doi.org/10.3390/ebj4010007 - 07 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1615
Abstract
Nosocomial wound infections are a dreaded complication in patients with burns. However, access to the necessary microbiological diagnostics is impaired in low-resource settings. This prospective observational cohort study aimed to describe the bacterial pathogens, resistance profiles and clinical outcomes of patients with wound [...] Read more.
Nosocomial wound infections are a dreaded complication in patients with burns. However, access to the necessary microbiological diagnostics is impaired in low-resource settings. This prospective observational cohort study aimed to describe the bacterial pathogens, resistance profiles and clinical outcomes of patients with wound infections admitted to the largest specialized unit for burns and plastic surgery in Uganda. Blood and wound swab cultures were taken for bacterial species identification and antibiotic susceptibility testing. A total of 140 patients (female: n = 62, 44.3%) with a median age of 26 (IQR 7–35) years were included between October 2020 and April 2022, of which the majority (n = 101, 72.2%) had burn wounds (72.3% Grade 2b, 14.9% Grade 3). Gram-negative Enterobacterales, Pseudomonas spp. and Acinetobacter spp. were most commonly isolated from wound swabs and nearly all isolates were multidrug resistant with very limited treatment options. While the clinical outcome was favorable in 21 (15%) study participants, the majority were left with disabilities (minor: n = 41, 29.3%, moderate: n = 52, 37%, major: n = 14 (10%)). Twelve (8.6%) study participants died, mostly of Gram-negative sepsis. Our findings highlight the urgent need for routine access to microbiological diagnostics to improve patient care and local surveillance efforts on antimicrobial resistance. Full article
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14 pages, 1282 KiB  
Systematic Review
Diphoterine for Chemical Burns of the Skin: A Systematic Review
by Felicia Dinesen, Pernille Pape, Martin Risom Vestergaard and Lars Simon Rasmussen
Eur. Burn J. 2023, 4(1), 55-68; https://doi.org/10.3390/ebj4010006 - 02 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1557
Abstract
The incidence of chemical burns appears to be increasing. Diphoterine is an amphoteric, chelating, polyvalent solution used for the decontamination of chemical splashes. In this systematic review, we aimed to assess the effect of diphoterine on chemical burns compared with water or no [...] Read more.
The incidence of chemical burns appears to be increasing. Diphoterine is an amphoteric, chelating, polyvalent solution used for the decontamination of chemical splashes. In this systematic review, we aimed to assess the effect of diphoterine on chemical burns compared with water or no treatment. The primary endpoint was the depth of burn, and secondary outcomes included pain, duration of hospitalization, time to return to work, need for surgery, pH, and complications. PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, and Google Scholar were systematically searched using the terms “Diphoterine”, “Previn”, and ““Amphoteric solution” AND “burn””. A total of nine studies were included. One study evaluated the depth of chemical burns and found no difference between the diphoterine group and the control group. Four studies reported on pain, three of which found a more pronounced decrease in pain when using diphoterine compared to the control groups. Two studies found a significant neutralization of pH when using diphoterine. No differences were found for the remaining endpoints. Based on the very low certainty of evidence, this systematic review reports no observed difference between diphoterine and water or no treatment on the depth of a chemical burn. Diphoterine appeared to be associated with less pain and to have a neutralizing effect. Full article
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20 pages, 8597 KiB  
Review
Complications during Pregnancy after Abdominal Burn Scars: A Review
by Zosha J. van Gelder, Annabel Snoeks, Paul P.M. van Zuijlen, Ralph de Vries and Anouk Pijpe
Eur. Burn J. 2023, 4(1), 35-54; https://doi.org/10.3390/ebj4010005 - 25 Jan 2023
Viewed by 3507
Abstract
Over the past decades, long-term sequelae of burns have gained increasing attention. Women of childbearing age, who sustained abdominal burns earlier in life, may have unmet information needs on scar-related complications they can expect during pregnancy. We performed a review of the literature [...] Read more.
Over the past decades, long-term sequelae of burns have gained increasing attention. Women of childbearing age, who sustained abdominal burns earlier in life, may have unmet information needs on scar-related complications they can expect during pregnancy. We performed a review of the literature to identify abdominal, foetal, and potential other complications during pregnancy in women with abdominal burn scars. PubMed, Embase, and Scopus were searched from inception to 1 July 2020 and updated once on 23 April 2021 (PROSPERO CRD42022187883). Main search terms included pregnancy, scar, burns, and abdominal. Studies on burns obtained during pregnancy have been excluded. Screening, data extraction and bias assessment were conducted by two investigators. We included 22 studies comprising 217 patients. The time between burn injury and first pregnancy varied between 7 and 32 years. Most of the women had normal pregnancies regarding delivery mode and duration of pregnancy. The most reported abdominal burn scar complications were an increased feeling of tightness, itch, pain, and scar breakdown. In some cases, scar release surgery was performed during or prior to pregnancy. Some cases of foetal complications were described. Complications during pregnancy after abdominal burn scars may be limited. More quantitative and qualitative research is needed to assess the maternal and foetal outcomes and complications. The results may be used to inform women and contribute to personalised obstetric management. Full article
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15 pages, 3752 KiB  
Article
Smart Polymeric Wound Dressing for Treating Partial-Thickness Burns: A Preliminary Preclinical Study on the Porcine Model
by Dmitry Beylin, Josef Haik, Erik Biros, Rachel Kornhaber, Michelle Cleary, Moti Harats, Daniel Cohn, Yair Sapir and Ori Weisberg
Eur. Burn J. 2023, 4(1), 20-34; https://doi.org/10.3390/ebj4010004 - 15 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3039
Abstract
Several so-called “smart” dressings are available for burn injuries to promote faster wound healing, and this technology has recently reported substantial advancements. However, the selection of an appropriate dressing for partial-thickness burns requires consideration of several crucial elements, including exudate management, conformability, antimicrobial [...] Read more.
Several so-called “smart” dressings are available for burn injuries to promote faster wound healing, and this technology has recently reported substantial advancements. However, the selection of an appropriate dressing for partial-thickness burns requires consideration of several crucial elements, including exudate management, conformability, antimicrobial properties, ease of application and removal, patient comfort, and cost-effectiveness. This preliminary feasibility study uses a porcine model to test the INTELIGELS product (Smart Bandage) for partial-thickness burns treatment. Artificially made wounds, mimicking partial-thickness burns, were assessed in two studies with and without antimicrobial additives, where wounds were randomly assigned to the experimental group treated with Smart Bandage and two control groups treated with a simple saline gauze dressing or Aquacel® products with and without silver additives. In addition, all dressings were evaluated for their ability to reduce wound size, quantified by histological analysis using punch biopsies. This study demonstrates comparable healing properties of Smart Bandage and Aquacel® dressings that are superior to the simple saline gauze dressing. The superiority is demonstrated by better regeneration, less inflammation of the epidermis and dermis, and better dermis remodeling with more granulation tissue maturation within the wound area when Smart Bandage/Aquacel® dressings are applied as compared with the simple gauze dressing. Full article
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2 pages, 177 KiB  
Editorial
Acknowledgment to the Reviewers of Eur. Burn J. in 2022
by Eur. Burn J. Editorial Office
Eur. Burn J. 2023, 4(1), 18-19; https://doi.org/10.3390/ebj4010003 - 13 Jan 2023
Viewed by 757
Abstract
High-quality academic publishing is built on rigorous peer review [...] Full article
9 pages, 623 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Potential Risk Factors for Multidrug-Resistance at a Burn Unit
by Luís Cabral, Leonor Rodrigues, Ana H. Tavares, Gonçalo Tomé, Marisa Caetano, Catarina Chaves and Vera Afreixo
Eur. Burn J. 2023, 4(1), 9-17; https://doi.org/10.3390/ebj4010002 - 11 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1234
Abstract
Background: Infections by multidrug-resistant (MDR) microorganisms are associated with increased morbidity and mortality in burn patients. This study aimed to analyze the evolution of MDR bacteria over a five-year period at Coimbra Burns Unit (CBU) in Portugal, seeking to assess the possible associations [...] Read more.
Background: Infections by multidrug-resistant (MDR) microorganisms are associated with increased morbidity and mortality in burn patients. This study aimed to analyze the evolution of MDR bacteria over a five-year period at Coimbra Burns Unit (CBU) in Portugal, seeking to assess the possible associations of specific bacteria with presumed risk factors. Methods: The data obtained consisted of identified bacteria present in any microbiological sample from each patient (including blood, central venous catheter, urine, tracheal aspirate and/or wound exudate). Univariate models and a multivariate model were constructed for each of the MDR bacteria species that infected at least 50 patients or that had five or more MDR strains. Statistical hypothesis tests with a p-value less than 0.05 were considered significant. Results: Of a total of 341 samples obtained, 107 were MDR, corresponding to 10 species. Globally, there was no significant variation in MDR bacteria frequency over the period under analysis. Some risk factors and/or trends were identified for some species, but none was linked to all of them. Conclusions: The risks for the development of MDR in bacteria in burn patients are multifactorial, mainly linked to longer hospital stays, the use of invasive devices and inadequate antimicrobial treatment. However, the influence of these risks regarding specific bacterial species is not straightforward and may rely on individual characteristics, type of treatment and/or local prevalent flora. Due to the severity of multidrug-resistant infections, continued microbiological surveillance with the aid of rapid diagnostic tests and prompt institution of appropriate antimicrobial therapy are crucial to improving outcomes for burn patients. Full article
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8 pages, 1542 KiB  
Article
The Impact of COVID-19 on Burns: A Brazilian Study
by Carolina Moura, Marcela Bittencourt, Maria Luíza Cazumbá, Alexandra Buda, Alexis Bowder, Daniel Scott Corlew, Fábio Mendes Botelho Filho, Lucas Barboza and Laura Pompermaier
Eur. Burn J. 2023, 4(1), 1-8; https://doi.org/10.3390/ebj4010001 - 28 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1656
Abstract
During the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the strategies chosen to contain the spread, such as social isolation and use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer, were suspected to increase the risk of domestic accidents, especially burns. The aim of this study was, therefore, to investigate [...] Read more.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the strategies chosen to contain the spread, such as social isolation and use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer, were suspected to increase the risk of domestic accidents, especially burns. The aim of this study was, therefore, to investigate possible differences in epidemiological trends among burned patients admitted to the main referral hospital of the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil, before and during the pandemic. Methods: All categories of new burns admitted at the Burn Unit of the João XXIII Hospital in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. The study group consisted of burn patients admitted between 1 March and 31 December 2020, and the control group consisted of those admitted between 1 March and 31 December 2019. The population was analyzed descriptively, and differences between patients admitted before and during the pandemic were tested using t-test, Wilcoxon Mann–Whitney Rank Sum test, the Chi-Squared test or Fisher’s exact test, as appropriate. Results: During the study period, 914 patients were admitted at the burns unit, 535 before the pandemic (control group) and 379 during the pandemic (study group). During the pandemic, referral from other hospitals decreased, while time between injury and admission remained unchanged. TBSA% and LOS diminished, while the depth of burns, presence of inhalation injuries, and in-hospital mortality did not. In adults, the place and mechanism of injury changed during the pandemic, while in children they did not. Conclusion: Fewer patients with burns were referred for specialized burn care during the pandemic, although patients admitted for specialized burn care had smaller TBSA% and shorter LOS. Full article
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