Incidence and Predictive Factors for Dysphagia After Thermal Burn Injury: A Prospective Cohort Study
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The objective of this study is to determine dysphagia incidence for a consecutively admitted population of thermal burn injury patients and to determine admitting characteristics that can be used to reliably predict patients at risk of developing dysphagia after thermal burn. Four hundred thirty-eight patients with thermal burns, with or without inhalation injury, who were consecutively admitted to and received management at a state-wide burn center over a 2-year period (2007-2009) were included. All patients meeting the project's inclusion criteria underwent clinical swallowing assessment to determine the presence or absence of dysphagia. Dysphagia incidence was found to be 11.18% (n = 49) in the admitted population. Dysphagia severity at initial assessment was classified as severe for 40.82%, moderate for 30.61%, and mild for 28.57%. Statistical analysis revealed a core set of statistically significant parameters known within the first 24 hours postinjury that showed strong sensitivity and specificity for detection of dysphagia risk. These include, in isolation or in combination, with the consideration of increasing age, TBSA burnt =18%, head and neck burns, need for escharotomy, inhalation injury, need for intensive care admission, and need for mechanical ventilation. This is the first large, prospective cohort study to document dysphagia incidence within the thermal burn population and to validate key predictors for dysphagia risk in this population. These data will assist the allocation and planning of speech pathology services and provide an evidence-based pathway for ensuring early identification and management of patients at high risk of dysphagia after thermal burn injury.
Journal of Burn Care & Research
Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified