Infection is the most common complication and cause of death in patients suffering burn injuries. These patients are susceptible to infection and burn wound sepsis secondary to the alterations in their physiology. Diagnosis and management of infections rely on physical examination, cultures, and the pathology of the burn wound. We performed an electronic search for articles in the Google Scholar and PubMed databases using the search terms “burn sepsis,” “burn infection,” and “burn critical care.” Multiple factors increase burn patients’ risk of invasive infection and sepsis, including underlying factors and co-morbidities, the percent total body surface area of the burn, delays in burn wound excision, and microbial virulence/bacterial count. Organisms causing burn wound infection differ, depending on the time since injury and its location; and diagnosis is multi-factorial. The most common pathogens remain and spp. Overall, the recognition of burn sepsis is based on clinical findings. Treatment consists of a combination of local dressings, early burn excision, and systemic antimicrobial therapy. The mortality rate has decreased significantly over the past 10 years, but continued efforts at timely management and infection prevention are essential.

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PubMed