Multicentre Observational Study Describing the Systemic Response to Small-Area Burns in Children: MISTIC study

Julia H Sarginson*, Linda I Hollen , Alan M Emond, Ian Mackie, Amber Young

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
101 Downloads (Pure)


Background and Objectives Burns of less than 10% total body surface area (TBSA) are common injuries in children under five years of age. The inflammatory response to burn injury is well recognised for burns greater than 20% TBSA but has not been described for smaller burns. The aim of this study was to describe the systemic response to burn injury in young children with small-area burns. Methods The Morbidity In Small Thermal Injury in Children study (MISTIC) was a multicentre prospective observational cohort study that recruited 625 patients under five years of age with burns of less than 10% TBSA over eighteen months across three sites in England. Prospectively collected data included physical observations and laboratory blood tests taken in hospital as part of routine care. Additional information was sourced from temperature recordings taken at home following discharge. Results Elevated temperatures were observed in children with scald or contact burns between 2-10% TBSA, with a peak on post-burn day one followed by a fall over post-burn days four to seven. No temperature rise was seen in children with burns of <2% TBSA. Higher temperature readings were associated with larger burn size, age under two years and male sex. Heart rate and C-Reactive Protein levels showed a peak on post-burn day three. Conclusions An identifiable systemic inflammatory response to small-area burns in young children is reported. This knowledge can be used to aid in the diagnosis of children with a burn injury who re-present with a pyrexia, and no other symptoms to indicate clinical infection..
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Early online date5 Aug 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Aug 2020


  • Burn
  • Scald
  • Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome
  • Temperature
  • Pyrexia
  • Children


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