Postburn Alteration of Thermoregulation,
ARKANSAS UNIV LITTLE ROCK MEDICAL CENTER
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The present data and review of the literature shows that the rate of heat production of burn patients follows the rate of heat loss, not vice versa. The use of either occlusive dressings of a constant external heat source can drastically reduce, but not eliminate, the hypermetabolism for burn patients resulting in manageable nutritional demands for the host with less weight loss and lower mortality rate. Chronic exposure treatment of patients with extensive burn wounds at environmental temperatures of thermal neutrality or below produces a maximal hypermetabolic response per unit burn size resulting in nutritional requirements impossible to meet for many patients. Future animals studies in this area should be directed toward clarifying central control of heat production and body temperature following thermal trauma, with the idea of rational intervention in behalf of patients.