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Article
June 1986

Enterococcal Burn SepsisA Highly Lethal Complication in Severely Burned Patients

Author Affiliations

From The Burn Center, Department of Surgery, The New York Hospital—Cornell Medical Center, New York.

Arch Surg. 1986;121(6):649-653. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1986.01400060043004
Abstract

• A retrospective study was undertaken to examine the incidence and clinical significance of enterococcal bacteremia in burned patients with enterococcal burn-wound infections. During a 26-month period from 1983 to 1985, 38 patients were found to have enterococcal burn-wound infections. Twenty of these patients developed positive blood cultures for enterococcus with no other identifiable source for the bacteremia. Cases occurred sporadically during the study period without evidence of a specific epidemic. Ten patients died within ten days of the bacteremia, while nine others eventually died from other complications. Only one patient survived to discharge. Prior antibiotic therapy did not appear to increase the risk for enterococcal infection, and specific therapy against the enterococcus after the bacteremia was identified appeared to have no effect on mortality. Mortality was significantly greater for bacteremic patients than for patients with enterococcal wound infection alone or for burned patients without enterococcal infections. Although previously not considered pathogenic, enterococcal burn-wound infections should prompt aggressive therapy to prevent the development of enterococcal sepsis with its associated high mortality.

(Arch Surg 1986;121:649-653)

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