oa South African Medical Journal - Die behandeling van ernstige brandwonde : 'n verslag van 'n metode in gebruik te Groote Schuur-Hospitaal

Volume 28, Issue 9
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



A method of managing serious burns which is in use at Groote Schuur Hospital has been descriptionbed. The prompt treatment of shock is emphasized and it is suggested that burns exceeding 10% of the body surface of adults and 6%of the surface of children should be regarded as serious. Intravenous therapy and ancillary methods of treating shock are descriptionbed. It is pointed out that the burns should be cleansed in an operating theatre and that general anaesthesia should be used. Two methods of local treatment, viz. exposure and absorbent dressings, are descriptionbed. The exposure method is preferred in children. The value of general treatment and repeated blood transfusions is noted, the subsequent care is outlined, the control of infection is discussed, precautionary measures against scarring and deformity are descriptionbed and the value of grafting deep and infected burns is stressed. Details of patients treated over a period of one year are briefly discussed and 40 cases in children are analysed. The mortality in this series was 2%and the average stay in hospital was 7 weeks. The survivors include a boy of 10 years who sustained deep burns covering 65%of his body surface. With the aid of blood transfusions, ACTH and repeated skin grafts he is now well, with minimal deformity. In conclusion the great value of early skin grafting is re-emphasized.

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