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Clinical outcomes of isolated lower extremity or foot burns in diabetic versus non-diabetic patients: A 10-year retrospective analysis.
Kimball Z, Patil S, Mansour H, Marano MA, Petrone SJ, Chamberlain RS. Burns. 2012 Jul 10
The incidence of diabetes mellitus (DM) in the United States is expected to increase from 8 per 1000 in 2008 to 15 per 1000 by 2050 . As a result, DM patients will constitute a large proportion of Burn Center admissions, with burns typically due to contact burn or scalding. Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) and peripheral neuropathy (PN) are far more common in DM patients, particularly in those with poorly controlled disease, and are often associated with worse outcomes than non-diabetic (nDM) burn patients. This study sought to analyze whether the outcome of isolated leg and foot burns among DM and nDM individuals differed significantly.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Retrospective data on 207 consecutive patients (>18years old) admitted to a Burn Center with isolated leg or foot burns between 1999 and 2009 was collected and analyzed for this study. Age, gender, ethnicity, total body surface area (TBSA), degree of burn, etiology, hospital and burn intensive care unit (ICU), length of stay (LOS), and status at discharge were reviewed. Patients were grouped as diabetic (DM) or non-diabetic (nDM). Differences were analyzed using either the Student's t-test or Chi-square.
43 DM and 164 nDM patients with isolated lower extremity or foot burns were treated during the study period (1999-2009). The mean age of DM and nDM patients was 54.6 and 43.7years, respectively (p<0.001). The most common burn etiology was scalding, flame, or contact burn. Percentage of total body surface area (TBSA) burn in DM patients averaged±standard deviation 1.8±1.3% compared to 1.8±1.6% in nDM (p<0.9). Among DM patients, 86% (N=37) of patients suffered third degree burns and 14% (N=6) of patients had second degree burns compared to 76% (N=125) of patients and 24% (N=39) of patients among nDM patients, respectively (p<0.16). The DM group had significantly higher burn ICU admission rates, 16.3% of patients versus 8.5% of patients (p<0.001), total length of hospital stay (mean±standard deviation), 14.1±10 versus 9.8±9.3days (p<0.01) and renal failure, 4.7% of patients versus 0.6% of patients (p<0.05) compared to the nDM group. 93% of DM patients were discharged to home without further medical attention while 4.7% of patients underwent further treatment. In comparison, 85.4% of the nDM patients were discharged home with no further treatment while 8.5% of patients received home care (p<0.01).
DM patients who suffer isolated burns to the feet or lower extremities have poorer clinical outcomes and more complicated and protracted hospital courses when compared to nDM patients with similar burns. Although diabetics in the current study did not experience larger or more severe burns than nDM patients, they were nearly twice as likely to be admitted to the ICU, spent an average of four days longer in the hospital, and had a higher likelihood of developing renal failure compared to nDM patients.
A 10-Year Review of Lower Extremity Burns in Diabetics: Small Burns That Lead to Major Problems.
Barsun A, Sen S, Palmieri TL, Greenhalgh DG. J Burn Care Res. 2012 Aug 27.
Diabetes mellitus with its resulting neurovascular changes may lead to an increased risk of burns and impaired wound healing. The purpose of this article is to review 10 years of experience with foot and lower leg burns in patients with diabetes at a single adult burn center. Patients with lower extremity burns and diabetes mellitus, between May 1999 and December 2009, were identified in the Trauma Registry of the American College of Surgeons database, and their charts were reviewed for data related to their outcomes. Sixty-eight diabetic patients, 87% male, with a mean age of 54 years, sustained foot or lower extremity burns with 37 having burns resulting from insensate feet. The pathogenesis included walking on a hot or very cold surface (8), soaking feet in hot water (22), warming feet on or near something hot such as a heater (13), or spilling hot water (7). The majority of patients were taking insulin (59.6%) or oral hyperglycemic medications (34.6%). Blood sugar levels were not well controlled (mean glucose, 215.8 mg/dl; mean hemoglobin A1c, 9.08%). Renal disease was common with admission serum blood urea nitrogen (27.5 mg/dl) and creatinine (2.21 mg/dl), and 13 were on dialysis preinjury. Cardiovascular problems were common with 39 (57%) having hypertension or cardiac disease, 3 having peripheral vascular disease, and 9, previous amputations. The mean burn size was 4.2% TBSA (range, 0.5-15%) with 57% being full thickness. Despite the small burn, the mean length of stay was 15.2 days (range, 1-95), with 5.65 days per 1% TBSA. Inability to heal these wounds was evident in 19 patients requiring readmission (one required 10 operative procedures). At least one patient sustained more than one burn. There were 62 complications with 30 episodes of infection (cellulitis, 28; osteomyelitis, 4; deep plantar infections, 2; ruptured Achilles tendon, 1) and 3 deaths. Eleven patients needed amputations (7 below-knee amputations, 4 transmetatarsal amputations, and 20 toe amputations) with several needing revisions or higher amputations. Patients with diabetes have an increased risk for lower extremity complications, but the risk of burns is not well known. The majority of lower extremity burns result from intentional exposure to sources of heat without recognition for the risk of burns. Once a burn occurs, morbidity and cost to the patient and society are severe. Prevention programs should be initiated to make diabetic patients and their doctors aware of the significant risk for burns.