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VOLUME 23 , ISSUE 5 ( May, 2019 ) > List of Articles


Concept of Lethal Triad in Critical Care of Severe Burn Injury

Vamseedharan Muthukumar, Durga Karki, Bhojani Jatin

Keywords : Burns, Critical care, Lethal triad, Mortality

Citation Information : Muthukumar V, Karki D, Jatin B. Concept of Lethal Triad in Critical Care of Severe Burn Injury. Indian J Crit Care Med 2019; 23 (5):206-209.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10071-23161

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 01-05-2019

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2019; The Author(s).


Background: The trinity of hypothermia, acidosis and coagulopathy, the lethal triad in trauma setting is a well-known risk factor associated with high risk of death. Burn is also a pathological situation where inflammatory response, endothelial injury, hypovolemia, reduced end-organ perfusion, cellular hypoxia, and myocardial depression are frequently encountered. This study aimed to study the occurrence and outcome of patients presenting with the ‘triad of death’ in burn population. Methods: The study population included patients between 18 years and 60 years presenting to the department with thermal and scald burns with total body surface area involving 50–70%. The study was conducted for a period of 180 days and patients were followed up for 30 days. A p value <0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: One hundred and ninety-six patients were admitted during study period. Fifty patients out of them were eligible and were included in the study. The average abbreviated burns score index was 11 in lethal triad subgroup when compared to eight in the subgroup without the lethal triad. The mortality in the subgroup with lethal triad was higher (68.8% vs 17.6%, p = 0.0009). The “on admission” acidosis, hypothermia, and coagulopathy were independently associated with significantly increased mortality. The overall relative risk of mortality in the presence of lethal triad was 3.896. Conclusion: This study reiterates the fact that the lethal triad is seen in burn patient. Burn associated with on admission lethal triad has significantly higher mortality rates. There are only countable studies addressing this issue in burn setting.

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