Epidemiology and outcome of 121 cases of chemical burn in East Azarbaijan province, Iran

Injury. 2008 Sep;39(9):1042-6. doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2008.03.019. Epub 2008 Jul 24.


Aim: To explore the epidemiology, mechanisms, complications, morbidity and mortality associated with chemical burns.

Methods: Data from 121 cases of chemical burn treated in our department over a 5-year period were compared. Data were obtained by prospective proforma.

Results: A mean 7.98% of total body surface area was burned. This series had a male:female ratio of 10:1, with a mean age 35.3 years. Young men experiencing work-related accidents were the most frequent victims. The majority of chemical burns occurred away from home (98.3%), particularly in the working environment (78.5%); 111 (91.7%) burns were accidental and 10 (8.3%) constituted criminal assault. Tar was the most frequent agent involved, followed by acid, and the hands were the most frequent site of injury. Most burns were small and of second degree; 10.7% of cases involved serious ocular damage. The mean hospital stay was 10 days, and the mortality rate was 1.7%.

Conclusions: Constant safety education for the public and professional training for workers would reduce the incidence of chemical burns. Prevention strategies must be coordinated on a national level.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Home / statistics & numerical data
  • Accidents, Occupational / statistics & numerical data
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Burn Units
  • Burns, Chemical / epidemiology*
  • Burns, Chemical / etiology
  • Burns, Chemical / mortality
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Iran / epidemiology
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Distribution
  • Young Adult