HP Chong1, E Gibson1, L Quinn1, R Cooksey1,D Molony1,A Jeeves1, M Lodge1,B Carney1
1Women’s And Children’s Hospital, North Adelaide, Australia
Scald burns injuries are the most common cause of thermal injuries in children under 4 years of age. We discuss our experience with a 10-week-old-baby who sustained deep partial thickness burns from a spilled jug containing freshly boiled hot water. Although this patient is by definition an infant (a neonate is children age 29 days or less), the relative thinness and immaturity in their skin were considerably similar.
Neonates differ from older children and adults on many counts. Because of their smaller size, thinner skin, larger surface area to weight ratio, larger evaporative fluid losses, immaturity of renal and immune systems, different resuscitative requirements due to their large maintenance fluid requirements per kg body weight, neonatal burns management poses challenging dilemmas. The management protocols for burns in older children have been established for a long time, however there are no clear guidelines concerning the care of neonatal burns victims. We report the challenges faced, reconstructive outcomes and lessons learnt with managing an infant burn of this age.
HP Chong is the Burns Fellow at WCH and previous unaccredited Plastic and Reconstructive Registrar at Flinders Medical Centre.