THERMAL BURNS DURING PREGNANCY

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(Date of issue: August 2016, Version: 1.1)

This is a UKTIS monograph for use by health care professionals. For case-specific advice please contact UKTIS on 0344 892 0909. To report an exposure please download and complete a pregnancy reporting form. Please encourage all women to complete an online reporting form.

Summary

Thermal burns requiring medical attention, although infrequent during pregnancy, pose a threat to both mother and fetus.  The percentage of total body surface area affected is the most significant factor influencing maternal and fetal outcome.  Complications that increase maternal and fetal risk include inhalation injuries, sepsis and shock. 

The severity of maternal systemic symptoms resulting from a thermal burn is likely to be a major determinant of adverse fetal effects.  It is therefore important to treat the mother appropriately to reduce maternal risk, and as a consequence, fetal risk.  If a specific treatment is required, it should not be withheld on account of pregnancy.  Where alternatives exist, UKTIS should be contacted for advice regarding the use of antibiotics, pain killers and diagnostic techniques for use in pregnant patients.  Enhanced fetal monitoring may be recommended after maternal thermal injury. Other risk factors may also be present in individual cases which may independently increase the risk of adverse pregnancy outcome. Clinicians are reminded of the importance of consideration of such factors when performing case specific risk assessments.

This document is regularly reviewed and updated. Only use full UKTIS monographs downloaded directly from TOXBASE.org to be sure you are using the most up-to-date version. The summaries of these monographs are openly available on UKTIS.org.

This is a summary of the full UKTIS monograph for health care professionals and should not be used in isolation. The full UKTIS monograph and access to any hyperlinked related documents is available to health care professionals at www.toxbase.org.

If you have a patient with exposure to a drug or chemical and require assistance in making a patient-specific risk assessment, please telephone UKTIS on 0344 892 0909 to discuss the case with a teratology specialist.

If you would like to report a pregnancy to UKTIS please click here to download our pregnancy reporting form. Please encourage all women to complete an online reporting form.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that this monograph was accurate and up-to-date at the time of writing, however it cannot cover every eventuality and the information providers cannot be held responsible for any adverse outcomes of the measures recommended. The final decision regarding which treatment is used for an individual patient remains the clinical responsibility of the prescriber. This material may be freely reproduced for education and not for profit purposes within the UK National Health Service, however no linking to this website or reproduction by or for commercial organisations is permitted without the express written permission of this service. This document is regularly reviewed and updated. Only use UKTIS monographs downloaded directly from TOXBASE.org or UKTIS.org to ensure you are using the most up-to-date version.