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Papers of the Week

Papers: 22 Jan 2022 - 28 Jan 2022

Human Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development


2022 Jan 25

J Burn Care Res

Pruritus in the Pediatric Burn Population.


Zuccaro J, Budd D, Kelly C, Fish JS
J Burn Care Res. 2022 Jan 25.
PMID: 35079812.


Post-burn pruritus is a significant issue that can have a devastating impact on patient quality of life. Despite its known negative impact, few studies have focused on the pediatric population. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine the incidence of pruritus among pediatric burn patients as well as identify its predictive factors and commonly used treatments, including the novel use of laser therapy. A retrospective analysis of all burn patients treated at our pediatric burn centre from 2009 to 2017 was conducted. The primary outcome measure was the presence or absence of pruritus at any point following the burn. One thousand seven hundred and eighty-three patients met the inclusion criteria for this study. The mean age at injury was 3.67 years (SD 4.02) and the mean burn TBSA was 3.48% (SD 4.81) with most burns resulting from scalds (66%). In total, 665 patients (37.3%) experienced pruritus. Following multivariable logistic regression, TBSA, age > 5 years, burns secondary to fire/flames, and burn depth, were identified as significant predictors of pruritus (p < 0.05). Pruritus was treated with diphenhydramine (85.0%), hydroxyzine (37.3%), and gabapentin (4.2%) as well as massage (45.7%), pressure garments (20.0%), and laser therapy (8.6%). This study addresses the knowledge gap in literature related to post-burn pruritus among pediatric patients and includes one of the largest patient cohorts published to date. Moreover, the results further contribute to our understanding of post-burn pruritus in children and may help us to predict which patients are most likely to be affected, so that treatment can be initiated as soon as possible.