Graphical Calculation of Estimated Energy Expenditure in Burn Patients

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Abstract

Background

Historically, estimated energy expenditure (EEE) has been related to the percent of body surface area burned. Subsequent evaluations of these estimates have indicated that the earlier formulas may overestimate the amount of caloric support necessary for burn-injured patients. Ireton-Jones et al derived 2 equations for determining the EEE required to support burn patients, 1 for ventilator-dependent patients and 1 for spontaneously breathing patients. Evidence has proved their reliability, but they remain challenging to apply in a clinical setting given the difficult and cumbersome mathematics involved. This study aims to introduce a graphical calculation of EEE in burn patients that can be easily used in the clinical setting.

Methods

The multivariant linear regression analysis from Ireton-Jones et al yielded equations that were rearranged into the form of a simple linear equation of the type y = mx + b. By choosing an energy expenditure and the age of the subject, the weight was calculated. The endpoints were then calculated, and a graph was mapped by means of Adobe FrameMaker.

Results

A graphical representation of Ireton-Jones et al's equations was obtained by plotting the weight (kg) on the y axis, the age (years) on the x axis, and a series of parallel lines representing the EEE in burn patients. The EEE has been displayed graphically on a grid to allow rapid determination of the EEE needed for a given patient of a designated weight and age. Two graphs were plotted: 1 for ventilator-dependent patients and 1 for spontaneously breathing patients. Correction factors for sex, the presence of additional trauma, and obesity are indicated on the graphical calculators.

Conclusions

We propose a graphical tool to calculate caloric requirements in a fast, easy, and portable manner.

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