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Objective: To evaluate the effects of recombinant human erythropoietin (r-HuEPO) in attempting to prevent anemia in acutely burned patients.

Design: Prospective double-blined randomized study of 40 patients.

Methods: Patients with burns from 25% to 65% total body surface were enrolled. r-HuEPO or a placebo was begun within 72 hours of admission. Cell blood count, reticulocyte counts, tranfusion requirements, and blood loss were measured. Comparison was carried out by the unpaired t test.

Main Results: There was no statistically significant difference in hemoglobin, hematocrit, reticlocyte count, ferritin, serum iron, total iron blinding capacity, or transfusion requirements. In patients with burns from 25% to 35%, the reticulocyte counts were statistically significantly higher.

Conclusion: In our work the administation of r-HuEPO in acutely burned patients did not prevent the development of postburn anemia or decresase transfusion requirements. Increased erythropoiesis in smaller burns (25% to 35%) was observed and may indicate a reason for further study.

Copyright (C) 1995 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.