Abstract

Eight patients who suffered severe burns and protracted periods of amnesia following those burns were evaluated for neuropsychological and neuropsychiatric problems between 6 months and 4 years following their accidents. All were found to have significant problems as evidenced in neuropsychological testing, activities of daily living, and reports from relatives. Findings on these burn patients with postburn amnesia were quite different from those of five burn patients who did not develop amnesia. Problems observed and reported in the burn-amnesia patients appeared to reflect clear neuropathological etiologies, which was not unexpected because their initial amnestic syndromes must also have been the result of significant central nervous system dysfunction. It is recommended that severe burn patients have neuropsychological, psychiatric, and neurological exams as part of routine postburn care.