Thromboembolic complications in burn patients and associated risk factors

Fred Mullins, Mohammad Anwarul Huq Mian, Dana Jenkins, Claus Brandigi, Joseph R. Shaver, Bruce Friedman, Badrul Alam, Meyer Schwartz, Zaheed Hassan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Early mobilization and deep venous thrombosis (DVT) prophylaxis have been shown to reduce the incidence of DVT and pulmonary embolism among hospitalized patients, yet thromboembolic complications remain a great concern, especially to those who remain immobilized for an extended period of time. There are many risk factors associated with the development of thromboembolism, especially DVT. The main objective of this retrospective study is to estimate the occurrence of DVT in burn patients and to investigate some burn-related risk factors. A retrospective examination of DVT cases was conducted among the acute burn patients admitted to our Regional Burn Center during 2008. The analysis included the demographic factors, preexisting medical conditions, ventilator support, number of surgeries and blood transfusions, and use of central line. There was a total of 97 diagnosed patients with DVT and among them 86 were adult acute burn patients. There were 113 diagnosed with DVTs in 86 burn patients, including 22 patients diagnosed with DVT at multiple sites either in one screening or in subsequent screenings. Incidence of DVT at the center was 5.92 per 100 adult acute burn admissions. Men had more DVT than women (6.87 vs 3.34%, relative risk 2.05, P <.05). The average percentage of %TBSA was smaller in the patients who were more than 50 years of age compared with the patients who were 49 years or younger (21.97 vs 34.77%, P <.05). Among the patients with DVT, 80 (93%) had a central venous catheter before DVT developed and the other six never had a central venous catheter. The most common site for DVT development was common femoral vein site 89%. The average number of procedures before DVT was 7.84 ± 8.36, and blood transfusions were 39.55 ± 108.37 units. Six patients (7%) died in the hospital within these study cohorts and there was no indication that pulmonary embolism was the cause of the deaths. The study showed that the incidence of DVT in the burn center was comparable with the incidences reported in the literature. Being of male sex, a smoker, an alcoholic, high-age group, high %TBSA, use of central line, increased number of surgeries, and increased number of blood transfusions are identified as possible predisposing factors for DVTs. Further meaningful evaluation to determine the incidence of DVT in burn patients and its associated risk factors will require large multicenter, well-controlled, prospective designed study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-360
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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