Electrical burns of the upper extremity in the pediatric population

The Journal of Craniofacial Surgery
Michael P Ogilvie, Zubin Jal Panthaki

Abstract

Electrical burns of the upper extremity, particularly high-voltage injuries, are becoming more prevalent in today's society and are often times devastating to the patients' appearance and functionality. The basic tenants of flame burn reconstruction apply to electrical injuries. Namely, a patient should undergo basic trauma resuscitation, decompression and debridement within a reasonable timeframe, and definitive closure as soon as possible. Reconstruction of the 3 main areas of injury (hand, elbow, and axilla) follows the basic reconstructive ladder from least invasive, that is, local wound revision, to most extensive, that is, free tissue transfers. Whereas the role of the surgeon continues to be the creation of ingenious techniques to deal with complications, the real treatment lies in education and prevention. This article will look to do a comprehensive review of electrical injuries to the upper extremity.

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