The study was done between burn patients with sepsis, which were treated as in-patients at the Burn Unit of Hospital Regional da Asa Norte, Brasília, Brazil, from June of 2001 to February of 2005. One hundred thirty and nine (15.5%) patients had sepsis amongst 895 cases admitted to the Burn Unit during the period of study. They had single or less then/or four sepsis episodes amounting to a total of 171. Seventy-eight (56.1%) were males and the mean age was 21 years (range one year to 89 years). The total body surface area burned varied from seven to 88% with a mean of 34.0%. The primary foci of sepsis episodes were the burn wound (45.6%), the lung (10.5%), the intravascular devices (8.8%) and unknown source (35.1%). The most common bacteria isolated from the blood culture of the cases of sepsis were Staphylococcus sp. (65.2%), Acinetobacter sp. (12.3%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (10.5%) and Enterobacter cloacae (7.6%). Eighty and seven (62.6%) patients had their first septicaemic episode either earlier or by one week postburn. S. aureus were isolated from 62 episodes of sepsis and amongst these, 19 (37.1%) were oxacillin resistant. All Staphylococcus were sensitive to vancomycin. In conclusion, the knowledge about the most prevalent bacteria and the antimicrobial sensitivity profiles would enable early treatment of imminent septic episodes with proper empirical systemic antibiotics, without waiting for culture results, thus improving the morbidity and mortality of burned patients with sepsis.
Keywords: Burns. Burn units. Sepsis. Cross infection