Severe burns are more dangerous in kidney and heart diseases

A research team from MedUni Vienna has demonstrated for the first time that chronic kidney and cardiovascular diseases have a negative impact on the survival rate of burn victims. The study was recently published in the specialty journal “Surgery.” Despite enormous medical advances, severe burns still represent life-threatening injuries, MedUni announced in a press release on Wednesday.

The study included data from 1,193 patients treated in the intensive care unit for severe burns at the University Clinic for Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery at MedUni/AKH Vienna between 2000 and 2019. Studies have shown that 48.6 percent of burn victims with impaired kidney function do not survive severe burns. In patients with pre-existing cardiovascular disease, one-third cannot be saved.

“Happily, our study was able to show that the prognosis of severely burned patients is improving year by year as a result of the steady development of treatment options,” explained study leader Annika Resch. Burn accidents are one of the most common accidents worldwide and are estimated to be responsible for approximately 180,000 deaths annually. Major burns are serious injuries that require weeks of treatment in specialized facilities and are considered a major cause of chronic physical limitations.

Doctors have access to so-called clinical scores, which take into account relevant parameters, as a decision-making aid for treatment measures and to estimate the probability of survival of victims. Preexisting diseases were not yet included in these models. “Future studies should show whether our findings can be generalized to this and other scores,” Resch said.

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