John Hoscheid

Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Problem and Purpose: A major burn is one of the most devastating physiologic and psychologic insults known (McCall & Cahill, 2005). The 2007 American Burn Association fact sheet estimates that each burn center has approximately 200 admissions each year and that the other 5,000 hospitals admit approximately 3 burn injuries on average per year. The recent approach to move some burn care to the rural setting will have a major effect on the rural anesthesia practice. The purpose of this study was to enhance the Nurse Anesthetists ability to care for the burn patient.

Conceptual Framework: This literature review study is based on a physiological framework of the burn process (Sitzer, 1991). Current literature has been based on the physiological response of the burn victim.

Analysis Methods: Extensive analysis of recent published literature on the care of the burn victim was completed. Further analyses of treatments that may be the future of burn care were completed. The literature review focused on the most recent five years of research.

Results: Fluid resuscitation continues to be a changing field of study. A large portion of treatment facilities continue to use crystalloid fluids for resuscitation. There are certain times where colloids are used. Pulmonary injury is also an ongoing threat. When encountered it is a significant key to morbidity and mortality. Many treatments used in other areas of health care are showing promise in the care of the burn victim. Treatments to decrease the effects of inflammatory cytokines are coming into favor in the care of the burn victim.

Implications: Much of the research discovered and dispersed within this study was directed to increase the knowledge on modes of care that are accepted in the treatment of the thermal injury customer encountered in many health care facilities today. With the great need for specialized care in the health care environment, the anesthesia provider may not encounter many situations where burns are involved. This may assist in the current decrease in mortality and the shortening of the length of stay in the hospital setting (Akerlund, Huss, & Sjoberg, 2007).