Management of the metabolic, respiratory, and hemodynamic problems in the severely burned patient is one of the physicians most challenging therapeutic experiences. Acutely burned patients need measurement of multiple physiological parameters to guide therapy and, thereby, decrease morbidity and mortality. Frequent monitoring of arterial pH, blood gases, and blood pressure help determine the extent of aberrations of their physiology. Acidosis is a common occurrence in burns, and is related to cellular hypoxia from shock, respiratory involvement, or circumferential thoracic burns with limited chest excursion. Alkalosis is also encountered and is usually secondary to hyperventilation. These metabolic alterations can accumulate and compound the basic injury. It is, therefore, necessary to obtain periodic assessment of the arterial blood gas composition and pH to define the patients' clinical status properly at any given time. Measurements may be necessary several times within an hour if one is to maintain physiologic parameters at normal levels.
Hegeman CO, Rappaport I, Berger WJ. Superficial Temporal Artery CannulationA Means of Monitoring the Acutely Traumatized Patient. Arch Surg. 1969;99(5):619-623. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1969.01340170071016