Transfusion and Infections in the Burn Patient

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Blood product transfusion has historically been utilized after major burn injury in the resuscitative as well as the acute phase. Transfusion has been implicated in infection and immunosuppression in many disease states. Recommendations for blood product transfusion has varied, but several landmark studies have helped define optimal burn transfusion strategies with respect to infection. The purpose of this article is to review the evidence describing the relation between transfusion and infection in burn injury during different phases of burn treatment to identify optimal transfusion strategies and suggest future targets for transfusion research in burns. Methods: This article presents the history, current status, and future research directions related to blood and blood product transfusion in burn injury. Results: Patients with burns are subject to infectious complications resulting from the loss of skin and burn-related immunosuppression. The use of blood in burn treatment has varied during both the resuscitative phase and the acute treatment phase. Whole-blood use in resuscitation was replaced with crystalloid infusion. Future trials are examining the role of plasma and albumin in burn resuscitation. A randomized prospective multicenter transfusion trial was able to decrease transfusion by 50% with no change in infection. Further examination of the role of hemostatic resuscitation in burn excision may help to better define transfusion goals. Conclusions: Blood product transfusion in burn injury has varied throughout the last century. Although advances in the understanding of blood transfusion in burn injury have occurred, initiatives to define optimal care better are required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-53
Number of pages5
JournalSurgical Infections
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • burn injury
  • immunosuppression
  • infection
  • transfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Transfusion and Infections in the Burn Patient'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this