Follow-up evaluation of the U.S. army institute of surgical research burn flow sheet for en route care documentation of burned combat casualties

Nicole W. Caldwell, Maria L. Serio-Melvin, Kevin K. Chung, Jose Salinas, Michael E. Shiels, Leopoldo C. Cancio, Zsolt T. Stockinger, Elizabeth A. Mann-Salinas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Introduction: In 2006, burn clinical practice guidelines were developed to provide recommendations for optimal care of U.S. military and local national burn casualties. As part of that effort, a paper-based Burn Flow Sheet (BFS) was included to document the burn resuscitation of combat casualties with ≥20% total body surface area burns. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the BFS in terms of ongoing utilization, resuscitation management, and outcomes of patients transported. Materials and Methods: A retrospective review was performed of hard-copy BFSs received from January 2007 to December 2013. En route injury and treatment data from these flowsheets were manually transcribed into the research database. Outcomes and complications of BFS subjects were extracted from the Burn Center Registry and added to the research database. Results: A total of 73 BFSs were collected from the study period. On average, BFSs were 61 ± 30% complete with a total of 14.7 ± 7 hours documented per patient in the first 24-hours postburn. Patients received nearly 7 L more fluid than estimated by traditional formulas. Sixteen patients (26%) received greater than 250 mL/kg of fluid, half of whom had concomitant traumatic injuries. Fifteen patients received a fasciotomy (21%), 4 received a laparotomy (5%), and 8 (11%) received both. No patients developed abdominal compartment syndrome associated with fluid resuscitation. Overall mortality was 21%. Conclusions: Although the majority of providers did initiate a BFS, it was not always used as intended; problems included missing data and miscalculations. Although there was a clear improvement with decline in the incidence of abdominal compartment syndrome, mortality did not change for severely burned patients. Simplification of the recommendations, additional built-in prompts, and automated tools such as computerized decision support software may help standardize practice and improve outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e2021-e2026
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


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