Additional Laboratory Test for African American Burn Patients
In addition to the standard laboratory tests that are performed on all burn patients, African American burn patients should also have their G6PD activity tested. G6PD activity is a measure of the activity of the enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD). G6PD deficiency is a genetic disorder that can make people more susceptible to hemolytic anemia, a condition in which the red blood cells are destroyed prematurely.
Why is G6PD Activity Important in African American Burn Patients?
African Americans are more likely than people of other races to have G6PD deficiency. G6PD deficiency can be triggered by a number of factors, including infection, certain medications, and stress. Burn injury is a major stressor that can trigger G6PD deficiency in susceptible individuals.
Hemolytic Anemia in Burn Patients
Hemolytic anemia can be a serious complication in burn patients. Burn patients are already at risk for anemia due to blood loss and fluid shifts. Hemolytic anemia can worsen anemia and make it more difficult for the body to heal from the burn injury.
African American burn patients should have their G6PD activity tested to screen for G6PD deficiency. If a burn patient is found to have G6PD deficiency, the healthcare team can take steps to prevent hemolytic anemia, such as avoiding certain medications and providing supportive care.
If you or someone you know is an African American burn patient, it is important to talk to your doctor or nurse about the importance of G6PD testing.
Hemolytic Anemia Prevention Strategies for African American Burn Patients
In addition to having their G6PD activity tested, there are a number of things that African American burn patients can do to prevent hemolytic anemia, such as:
- Avoiding certain medications, such as aspirin and ibuprofen
- Staying hydrated
- Eating a healthy diet
- Getting enough rest