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Increased Survival after Major Thermal Injury: The Effect of Growth Hormone Therapy in Adults. *

Background: Advances in the management of patients with major thermal injury have resulted in a progressive increase in survival rates. We report preliminary data evaluating the safety and potential efficacy of human growth hormone (HGH) administration in a high-risk population of burned patients.

Methods: From 1989 to 1993, 69 patients sustaining major burns (defined as patient age plus percentage of body surface area with deep second- and third-degree burns greater than or equal to 90) were evaluated. Patients routinely received anti-inflammatory pharmacotherapy including antioxidants, an endotoxin binder, and cyclooxygenase blockade. Half of the 54 patients who survived more than 7 days received HGH to enhance wound healing. Injury severity, morbidity, and mortality for patients receiving HGH was compared to the 27 patients not receiving HGH.

Results: For the entire population (n = 69), average age was 56 +/- 23 years, body surface area burned was 58% +/- 24%, and 30% sustained smoke inhalation. Actual mortality was 41%, significantly less than the more than 70% mortality rate predicted from reported outcome data. Patients receiving HGH were well matched with the group not receiving HGH with respect to extent of injury, burn management, pharmacotherapy, and in-hospital morbidity. Mortality of the patients receiving HGH was 11%, significantly less than the 37% mortality rate of the patients without HGH (p = 0.027).

Conclusion: Compared to standard predictors of burn mortality our small patient group appears to have an improved survival rate, suggesting that the use of anti-inflammatory agents appears safe and potentially beneficial. Patients receiving HGH exhibited minimal drug-related complications and mortality rates were improved when this population was compared with both predicted mortality rates and a well-matched control population of concurrently treated patients. Prospective blinded trials are now necessary to confirm these findings in a larger patient group.

(C) Williams & Wilkins 1995. All Rights Reserved.

* Legal Disclaimer: Chelation and Hyperbaric Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, and other treatments and modalities mentioned or referred to in this web site are medical techniques that may or may not be considered “mainstream”. As with any medical treatment, results will vary among individuals, and there is no implication or guarantee that you will heal or achieve the same outcome as patients herein.

As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 09-06-2006