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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 57-62

Surface pH and acute burn wound healing

Department of Burns, Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery, Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Tejaswini Divakar
Flat No. 104, Anvita Apartments, Kankanady Old Road, Mangalore - 575 002, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijb.ijb_19_19

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Context: There is a lacuna in our knowledge to objectively assess the progression of healing in an acute burn wound. Aim: This study aims to validate if a trend in changes of wound surface pH can be used as a reliable indicator to prognosticate wound healing in acute thermal burns. Materials and Methods: Hospital-based longitudinal observational study was conducted in the department of burns of a tertiary care center. One hundred and twenty-three patients with acute thermal burns in the age group of 15–60 years with total burn surface area between 30%–60% were included in the study. Surface pH of wound from a specific area of dimension 10×10 cm was measured on day 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, and 15 using HANNA HI 99181 pH meter and the trend of wound surface pH level changes over time was observed. Wound healing was clinically assessed by wound grading chart on day 7 and 15. Results: The trend of reducing pH values had a negative correlation coefficient of - 0.95 with improved wound healing, and the trend of increasing pH values had a positive correlation coefficient of 0.74 with deteriorating wound. This is statistically highly significant with P < 0.0001. Conclusion: The analysis showed that the trend of change in pH value over time has high statistical significance with wound healing in burns patients with reducing trend, i.e., toward slightly acidic pH being associated with better wound healing and increasing trend, i.e., toward alkalinity suggesting worsening of wounds. Hence, wound surface pH can be used as a reliable indicator to prognosticate wound healing in acute thermal burns.

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