Campfire burns of the palms in crawling infants in Saudi Arabia: results following release and graft of contractures

J Burn Care Res. Jul-Aug 2009;30(4):616-9. doi: 10.1097/BCR.0b013e3181ac0298.


In Saudi Arabia, camping in the desert is commonly practiced by families. A campfire is usually lit and unsupervised crawling infants are at risk of burns from these campfires. During a 12-year period, a total of 53 children with hand contractures related to campfire burns were treated. The mean age at the time of burn was 9 months (range: 5-12 months). All patients presented with isolated palmar contractures of one (n=24) or both (n=29) hands. Surgical release and skin grafting were performed for a total of 82 hands. Full-thickness skin grafts from the groin area were used in mild cases, and thick split-thickness skin grafts harvested from the thigh were used in severe contractures. Graft take ranged from 90 to 100% "take" in all patients. Follow-up ranged from 6 months to 10 years. Recurrence of contracture was calculated for 30 children (52 grafted hands) who had follow-up for more than 5 years. Twenty hands (group I) had thick split-thickness skin grafts, and 10 (50%) of these required a second release and grafting procedure. The remaining 32 hands (group II) had full-thickness grafts and only 3 (9.4%) required a second release and grafting procedure. The difference was statistically significant (P=.003), indicating that group I are more likely to require secondary surgery on long-term follow-up.

MeSH terms

  • Burns / epidemiology
  • Burns / etiology
  • Burns / surgery*
  • Contracture / etiology
  • Contracture / surgery*
  • Female
  • Hand Injuries / epidemiology
  • Hand Injuries / etiology
  • Hand Injuries / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Saudi Arabia / epidemiology
  • Skin Transplantation*
  • Treatment Outcome