Information to the public about burn study

During 2023-2024, a patient chart study will be carried out at Akademiska sjukhuset/Uppsala University which examines the levels of procalcitonin (PCT) in blood in sepsis (blood poisoning) in burn patients.

The most common cause of death among burn victims is infection and sepsis. Burn patients develop a strong, systemic, inflammatory reaction due to their burn injury. The symptoms/findings of this inflammatory reaction are essentially the same as the symptoms/findings that patients present with severe infection or sepsis. This means that usual sepsis criteria cannot really be used for burn patients, and diagnosis of sepsis in burn victims is extremely difficult. As it is so difficult to distinguish between 'ordinary' burn inflammation and sepsis, it is not uncommon to treat with antibiotics 'just in case'. Incorrect use of antibiotics is, however, very strongly linked to several consequential problems, such as e.g. a selection of more resistant microbes in the patient as well as a financial burden without any positive effect for the patient in question.

Procalcitonin is a well-known biomarker of infection. Several studies have shown PCT to be a good marker for (early) detection of sepsis. However, as with other biomarkers (CRP, LPK, etc.), the specificity and sensitivity are questioned when it comes to use on burn victims. The aim of this study is to study whether procalcitonin can help in detection/exclusion of infection/sepsis. This is partly for the correct start of antibiotics, but also to be able to correctly end the antibiotic treatment.

The study will analyze the test results regarding procalcitonin in the blood of all burn patients (where procalcitonin was measured during treatment) who were treated at the Burn Center 2006-2011. For these patients, other laboratory test results (including PCT, CRP, LPK, TPK) and microbiological culture results as well as clinical data such as age, gender, BMI, vital parameters and injury data (depth, extent, date, care of) to be extracted from the hospital's electronic patient records and other care systems.

All patient-related information is pseudonymised and handled confidentially. No one outside the research group will thus be able to identify any patient.

For more information about the study and/or if you, who were treated for burns at the Burn Center, Akademiska sjukhuset, during the period 2006-2011, do not want your information to be used in the study, please contact the principal investigator:

Director of Burn Center, Ass Prof Fredrik Huss
Burn Center 
Dept of Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery 
Uppsala University Hospital 
751 85 Uppsala 
phone: 018-611 00 00

Last modified: 2023-06-14