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South African Journal of Surgery

versão On-line ISSN 2078-5151
versão impressa ISSN 0038-2361


OSMAN, Y  e  ALLORTO, N. Delayed management of paediatric burn sepsis resulting in limb loss. S. Afr. j. surg. [online]. 2022, vol.60, n.4, pp.307-309. ISSN 2078-5151.

Primary health care centres, community health centres and district hospitals often have medical staff that have minimal exposure to paediatric patients. This may contribute to the challenge of recognising a critically ill paediatric patient. It is already a difficult task as many clinicians are not comfortable or well equipped to manage burn patients, even in regional or tertiary facilities. Identification of the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) versus sepsis is difficult in burns owing to the clinical presentation. Identifying the clinical signs determines the need for immediate treatment (i.e., fluid resuscitation) no matter the cause. Investigations will follow to determine the cause, further management and response to treatment. These two cases illustrate the deficit in skill and knowledge in the identification of the sick burn-injured child. Although telemedicine has made large advances in allowing access to expert advice in remote locations, its usefulness is dependent on the clinical signs being identified and adequately portrayed to the expert. The way forward is better undergraduate and postgraduate training in this area with an emphasis on clinical acumen.

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