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Anaesthesia: preoperative management of patients with acute burns 

Anaesthesia: preoperative management of patients with acute burns
Anaesthesia: preoperative management of patients with acute burns

Lee C. Woodson

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date: 21 October 2020

Major burn injuries affect every organ system and present challenges for every aspect of perioperative anaesthetic care. Although anaesthetists possess skills and experience that match the needs of these critically ill patients, perioperative decisions require consideration of unique pathophysiological changes associated with large burns along with knowledge of predictable technical challenges. Careful preoperative evaluation and preparation is critical. Initial care of patients with inhalation injury may involve management of difficult airways including bronchoscopic examination. Preoperative evaluation requires understanding of fluid resuscitation of burns. Adequate planning for perioperative care also depends on close preoperative communication with ICU staff and surgeons. Intraoperative care should be compatible with ICU course and goals, while anaesthetic choices such as monitors, vascular access and blood products are determined by the surgical plan. Impaired thermoregulation in burn patients requires attention to equipment and conditions in the operative theatre.

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