Featured Article| Volume 19, ISSUE 3, 104536, March 2023

Treatment of Pediatric Upper Extremity Burns

Published:February 08, 2023DOI:


      • Pediatric upper extremity burns are a common occurrence.
      • Although both surgical and nonsurgical options are available, there is significant literature on the surgical management of these burns but less on nonsurgical management.
      • Our center manages nonoperative pediatric upper extremity burns using a multidisciplinary approach.
      • This topical outline reviews the management of pediatric upper extremity burns including appropriate staging, dressing management, surgical treatment, and therapy/orthosis considerations.
      • Additional information is provided outlining indications and techniques for operative management for severe burns and their sequelae.


      Pediatric upper extremity burns are common. There is significant literature outlining the treatment of surgical hand burns; however, the appropriate treatment of nonoperative burns is less well described. Options for treatment are plentiful, and choosing an ideal strategy requires consideration of numerous factors. At our center, pediatric upper extremity burns are managed using a multidisciplinary approach. This topical review outlines the management of pediatric upper extremity burns. We focus on the management of nonoperative burns, but additional information is provided outlining the indications for and techniques of operative management for more severe burns.


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      Carrie L. Roth Bettlach, MSN, FNP-C, is a nurse practitioner with the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO, and can be contacted at [email protected]


      Courtney Bergheger, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Department of Occupational Therapy, Saint Louis, MO.


      Lauren Jacobson, MD, is a physician with the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO.


      Mitchell A. Pet, MD, is a physician with the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO.