Bisk of aluminum accumulation in patients with burns and ways to reduce it

Gordon L. Klein*, David N. Herndon, Thomas C. Rutan, Joseph R. Barnett, Nancy L. Miller, Allen C. Alfirey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Severely burned patients experience a bone lesion consisting of markedly reduced bone formation and evidence of decreased resportion. The cause of the lesion may be multifactorial, but aluminum loading, which also occurs in patients with burns, has been documented to produce this type of injury in both humans and animals. To assess the risk of aluminum loading with patients with burns, we analyzed fluids, creams, and medication used in the management of acute burn injury for aluminum content. These substances were classified according to route of administration: Cutaneous, enterai, or parenteral, to assess the risk of aluminum loading. Cutaneous exposure to aluminum is greatest from baths, which may provide up to 8 mg aluminum. However, the dynamics of aluminum entry into the blood via a damaged skin barrier are unclear. Enterai exposure to aluminum is no greater than daily dietary exposure. Parenteral sources of aluminum, especially 25% human serum albumin and calcium gluconate, provide the most significant risk of loading because of direct introduction of aluminum into the circulation. Substitution with a different brand of albumin and calcium chloride can reduce the parenteral aluminum load by as much as 95% and minimize any role aluminum may play in the pathogenesis of this bone lesion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-358
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


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