Kidney and heart diseases may increase death risk in severe burns

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Severe burns are one of the most critical injuries anyone can suffer, and despite medical advancements, they remain a significant challenge.

Doctors have long used clinical scores to help decide on treatments and predict patients’ survival chances. However, these models didn’t consider patients’ pre-existing health conditions until now.

A groundbreaking study by MedUni Vienna’s research team, recently published in the journal Surgery, has brought new insights into this area.

They focused on patients with severe burns treated in the intensive care unit at MedUni Vienna and elsewhere. This study spanned nearly two decades, from 2000 to 2019, and included data from 1,193 patients.

For the first time, the team included chronic pre-existing diseases in their analysis. They discovered that patients with chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular disease had a worse prognosis after suffering severe burns.

The findings were stark: nearly half of the patients with kidney problems and about a third of those with heart conditions didn’t survive their burns.

Despite these concerning statistics, the study also brought some positive news. The survival rates for severely burned patients are improving year by year, thanks to ongoing advancements in treatment methods.

However, for those with severe burns and pre-existing conditions like kidney or heart diseases, the survival rates are still lower than average.

Burns are a global issue, leading to around 180,000 deaths annually. They can cause long-term physical disability and require extended treatment in specialized facilities.

To assess and treat burns, doctors use various scoring systems. One such system, the “Abbreviated Burn Severity Index” (ABSI), is widely used.

Annika Resch, the study leader from MedUni Vienna, suggests that future studies should explore integrating these new findings into existing scoring systems like the ABSI.

This could potentially enhance the personalized treatment of severely burned patients, taking into account their pre-existing health conditions.

In conclusion, this research from MedUni Vienna marks a significant step in understanding the survival rates of severely burned patients, especially those with chronic illnesses.

By considering these additional factors, medical professionals can better predict outcomes and tailor treatments, potentially improving survival rates and care quality for these critically injured patients.

The research findings can be found in Surgery.

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