A new study conducted by US experts on children has indicated that severe burn injuries could trigger heart problems.
Basically, a burn is damage to the body’s tissue caused by heat, chemicals, electricity, sunlight or even radiation. Death rates are particularly high among people who suffer severe burn injuries. But doctors have often struggled to pinpoint the exact cause of those deaths.
In this new study that included 189 children, a team from Shriners Hospitals for Children found that those who suffered 80% burns had a noticeable reduction in heart function.
The study also found that burns in general put severe stress on other parts of the body.
When a person is burnt, a dramatic reaction is triggered off in the body, and this is then followed by a physiological state over the days that follow.
This response involves an increased metabolism (the physical and chemical changes occurring in the body). A patient suffering 40 percent or more burns uses up double or more the usual number of calories.
To meet the body’s energy demands following a burn, the body uses up fat stores at a higher rate than usual, lead researcher Marc Jeschke said.
The body’s vital organs like heart and liver are then placed under stress and wounds take longer to heal, making the body vulnerable to infection.
In particular, the risk of cardiac dysfunction, which impacts on the regular beating of the heart, is raised.