Bleeding is a major concern during burn wound excision. To evaluate the efficacy of epinephrine to control blood loss, a prospective cohort of 42 pediatric patients were examined. Half of the patients received topical epinephrine to excised wounds and donor sites and subcutaneous epinephrine to scalp donor sites during total burn excision, while the other half did not. Both groups of patients received bovine topical thrombin sprayed at a concentration of 1000 U/ml. Mean blood loss in the epinephrine group was 1090 ml (range 20-4000), with a blood loss of 0.48 ± 0.12 ml/cm2 excised, while the control group was 1271 ml (range 40-3750) and 0.51 ± 0.15 ml/cm2. Differences in preoperative and postoperative hematocrits were respectively -3.4 ± 7.8 and -4.6 ± 7.5. The groups were not statistically different in this analysis. Subgroup analysis by age, burn size and time of burn to excision showed no differences. No complications or side effects of the use of the vasopressor solution occurred. In conclusion, no differences in blood loss were found between the groups. The routine use of local epinephrine during total wound excision in combination with topical thrombin in pediatric patients operated within 24 h after the admission may not be necessary. The effect of topical thrombin on blood loss should be analyzed separately.
- Blood loss