The importance of intra-abdominal pressure measurements in burned children

David G Greenhalgh, G. D. Warden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


Four burned children suffering complications from elevated intra- abdominal pressures prompted initiation of a prospective study to determine the value of intra-abdominal pressure measurements in 30 children with large burns. Intra-abdominal pressures were measured every 4 hours during burn shock or sepsis, or daily during periods of stability. Patients were arbitrarily divided into those having one or more measurements ≥30 mm Hg or all values <30 mm Hg. Patients in the ≥30 mm Hg group had significantly larger burns, higher mortality, and increased instances of sepsis. Five patients had elevated intra-abdominal pressures during burn shock, with two requiring abdominal escharotomies. Seven were at >30 mm Hg during sepsis, with three requiring paralysis, and one each requiring placement of a peritoneal catheter or laparotomy. Significant intra-abdominal pressure elevations may occur in patients with extensive burns and are associated with a poorer prognosis. Elevation of intra-abdominal pressure should be considered in severely burned patients with oliguria, hypoventilation, or hypotension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)685-690
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Trauma
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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