Control of Infection Following Burn Injury

J. Wesley Alexander, MD, ScD,
Arch Surg. 1971;103(4):435-441. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1971.01350100029006.
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Infections continue to be the most important cause of death in patients with serious burns, and recent experience reveals that this complex problem has not been entirely solved by the use of effective antimicrobial agents. Despite the important role of certain documented, but presently untreatable abnormalities of host defense in the genesis of these infections, much can be done to control their incidence and seriousness. Helpful measures are tangential excision of the burn wound eschar to aid in early grafting, subeschar injection of antibiotics to treat established burn wound sepsis, restricted use of systemically administered antibiotics, avoidance of tracheostomy, vaccination procedures against selected pathogens such as Pseudomonas, and rational approaches to environmental control and the use of topical antimicrobial agents.


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