Early excision of major burns in children: Effect on morbidity and mortality

John B. Pietsch, David T. Netscher, Hirikati S. Nagaraj, Diller B. Groff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


The advantage of early excision and grafting in the treatment of limited full-thickness burns has been clearly established. The goal of the present study was to evaluate the role of early burn wound excision in major pediatric burns. Of the 470 pediatric burn admissions between 1979 and 1984 that were reviewed, 53 patients met the criteria of deep second or third degree burns greater than 25% total body surface area (TBSA). Of these, 20 had burn wound excision within 7 days (Early) and 33 had delayed excision and grafting (Late). The Early group, despite having greater transfusion requirements (69.4 v 36.2 cc/kg), had shorter hospital stays (35.3 v 49.1 d, P<0.05), fewer metabolic complications (20% v 79%, P<0.001), and less burn wound contamination (55% v 90%, P<0.01) than the Late group. Mortality was lower in the Early group (0% v 12%), but this was not statistically significant. Early excision and grafting are therefore recommended in the care of major burns in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)754-757
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1985


  • excision and grafting in major burns
  • Pediatric burns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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