Trainee education day: IPC in specialised settings

Tuesday 26 November 2019


Infection prevention and control in a burns unit

Burn injuries are a major public health issue worldwide. Infection is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in burn patients. Infection of the burn injury may result in permanent scarring, disfigurement and disability, which can have serious personal and financial implications for both the burn victim and their dependants. The prevention of infection in the burn patient remains a challenge. Skin has a major role in preventing infection as well as key roles in homeostasis of body fluid, neurosensory functions and thermoregulation. The risk of burn infection is related directly to the area of the burn. The strategies for prevention of infection in Burn patients include incorporating the unique clinical characteristics of burn patients and the segregation of burn patients from other patients. The design of departments providing burn care has a key role in preventing infection and spread of infection in burn patients. Burn patients are a high risk group for acquiring multidrug -resistant bacteria and may be a reservoir for of multidrug-resistant organisms and source for spread to the rest of the hospital. The quality of evidence for infection prevention in burn patients is generally low reflecting the challenges of designing studies in a specialised patient group where standardised definitions of infection are lacking.

Dr Pauline Jumaa, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust 


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