ISSN 2398-2950      

Fluid therapy: for burns


Claire Waters


  • Severe burn   →   significant increase in vascular endothelium permeability throughout the body due to release of inflammatory mediators from burn site.
  • Loss of plasma proteins from vascular space results in reduced plasma oncotic pressure and fluid shift from vascular space to interstitium.
  • As much as 50% of plasma water may be lost from the circulation 2 hours after severe burn injury.
  • Hyperkalemia may result from K+ release from damaged cells.
  • Destruction of red blood cells occurs in the post-burn period because of increased fragility and morphological changes.
  • Metabolic acidosis is common following severe burns.


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Saxon W D and Kirby R (1992) Treatment of acute burn injury and smoke inhalation. In: Kirk's Current Veterinary Therapy XI. Eds: R W Kirk and J D Bongura. Philadelphia: W B Saunders. pp 146-153. ISBN 0 7216 3293 9.

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