Altered pharmacokinetics in patients with major burns may result in serum antibiotic concentrations below those required to be effective against the common pathogens encountered in burns patients. The major changes in the fluid volumes of key body compartments, which occur with a large burn, may increase the apparent volume of distribution of a drug, thereby lowering its concentration when a standard dose is given. In addition, the observed increase in renal blood flow reported in burns patients, because of the change in cardiac output, may result in a higher drug clearance and a shorter elimination half-life. As a consequence, studies have recommended higher doses or more frequent dosing or both for some antibiotics in patients with major burns, but data are lacking for many of the antibiotics reserved for treatment of life-threatening infections. The authors measured serum concentrations of two antibiotics, linezolid and meropenem, in an immunosuppressed patient who presented with a severe burn to determine whether therapeutic concentrations were achieved, thereby improving the likelihood of infection control.
Hallam, M. J., Allen, J. M., James, S. E., Donaldson, P. M. W., Davies, J. G., Hanlon, G., & Dheansa, B. (2010). Potential sub-theraputic linezolid and meropenem antibiotic concentrations in a patient with severe burns and sepsis. Journal of Burn Care and Research, 31(1), 207-209. https://doi.org/10.1097/BCR.0b013e3181c89ee3