Pruritus is a common problem following burn injuries; however, the literature to date has focused on adult survivors and/or pediatric survivors of large burns. The current study examines acute postburn pruritus in children under the age of 4 years (N = 256) with smaller burns (mean TBSA = 3.99%), which represents the most common type of patient typically treated in pediatric burn centers. Parents rated their child for pruritus, irritability, and sleep disturbances; additionally, parents completed a self-report of distress. Nearly half (47.3%) were rated by parents as displayed some level of pruritus, with the greatest proportion rated as mild. Regression analysis indicated that child minority status, greater burn TBSA, and more days elapsed since burn predicted higher levels of pruritus. In turn, pruritus was positively correlated with child irritability, delayed sleep onset, sleep disturbance, and parent distress. Thus, our results indicate that parent-rated pruritus in young pediatric burn patients is important to evaluate, as itch is significantly associated with other important clinical outcomes as early as the first month of the burn for pediatric patients and their parents.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine