Management of severe rheumatological disease in the burn center
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In recent years, Burn Center has evolved to become a "wound intensive care unit" treating disease processes other than those due to thermal injury. Recent data have shown that more than 16% of admissions to Burn Centers are for nonburn injuries, particularly severe dermatologic diseases. The role of the Burn Center has been expanded to include treatment of patients with severe cutaneous manifestations of rheumatologic diseases. This approach has not been described before. All collagen vascular disease admissions to the Burn Center from 2005 to 2010 have been reviewed. There were 16 admissions where intensive wound management was a major component of the disease management. Disease processes included systemic lupus erythematosus, progressive systemic sclerosis, Raynaud's phenomenon, antiphospholipid syndrome, and dermatomyositis, among others. The authors describe five of these cases in detail. Comanagement of these patients by the Rheumatology and Burn services led to outstanding, successful outcomes. Collagen vascular diseases represent another area where the Burn Center may be the appropriate site for therapy.
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