Effect of Zinc Supplementation on Healing of Patients with Burns in Sana’a City, Yemen: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Introduction: There are different modalities of burn treatment, including zinc supplementation to improve the outcome. Therefore, this study assessed the effect of zinc supplementation among burned patients.
Methods: A randomized controlled trial on zinc supplementation was conducted among 140 burned patients admitted to Al-Jomhouri Hospital, Sana'a from November 2020 to April 2021. Patients were randomly allocated into an intervention group (40) and a control group (100). A pre-designed checklist was used to collect demographic data, burn characteristics, laboratory parameters and burn outcomes. Data were analyzed, and differences and associations were considered significant at p-values <0.05.
Results The majority of patients were males, aged 20 years, and with second-degree and flame-type burns. Most patients (57%) had burns affecting >20% of body surface area (BSA). There were no significant differences between both groups regarding age, gender, and degree of burns. However, the mean percentage of burns was significantly lower in the intervention group compared to the control group (p = 0.015). The percentage of BSA affected by ≥20% was significantly lower in the intervention group (p = 0.027). There was a significant difference between both groups regarding the etiology of burns, with flame burns being significantly less frequent in the intervention group (p = 0.001). The mean length of hospital stay was significantly shorter in the intervention group (p = 0.043). In the intervention group, more patients were discharged with healing, and fewer patients died, but the differences were not significant. Zinc supplementation significantly increased the mean Hb level, WBC count and albumin concentration at discharge.
Conclusion: Zinc supplementation improves the burn outcome, increases the rate of discharge with healing, decreases mortality rate and shortens the length of hospital stay. It improves laboratory parameters. Further studies needed to investigate the role of zinc supplementation in burn treatment in Yemen.
Keywords: Burn, Outcome, Zinc supplementation, Yemen.