Epidemiology of hospitalized burn patients in a tertiary care hospital in South India

Burns. 2010 May;36(3):422-9. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2009.06.212. Epub 2009 Sep 25.


Background: The epidemiological pattern of burns varies widely in different parts of the world. To suggest effective preventive measures, an insight into the pattern of injury is desirable. However, data on burn victims and outcome is limited from this part of the world.

Methods: This study was conducted in the Department of Surgery, from April 2006 to April 2007. All consecutive patients with major burns admitted for in-hospital treatment during the study period were included in the study. The data collected included age, gender, cause and mode of burns, presence or absence of inhalational injury, facial burns, time delay from burn injury to admission in the hospital, burns depth, total body surface area distribution of burns, associated injuries and co-morbid illness, microbiological profile and outcome. Inhalational injury was assessed by clinical examination as bronchoscopy was not available.

Results: A total of 222 consecutive patients admitted for in-hospital treatment of burn injury were included in the study. 177 patients were adults and 45 were <13 years of age. The female:male ratio was 1.7:1. In adults, 52.5% of burns were due to non-intentional injury and 43.9% were due to self-immolation. In patients <13 years of age, 95.6% of cases were due to non-intentional injury. The mean TBSA was 48.75% and 30.18% of patients had predominantly deep burns. The overall mortality was 60.8%. The predominant organisms colonizing the burn wound were Pseudomonas aeruginosa (81.1%) followed by Acinetobacter species and MRSA. Multivariate logistic regression analysis of factors predicting survival in patients with burn injury showed that TBSA>30%, age>20 years, female gender and presence of facial injury were statistically significant as predictors of risk of death.

Conclusions: In patients with burns, total body surface area involvement more than 30%, age more than 20 years, female gender and presence of facial injury are statistically significant, as predictors of poor outcome and risk of death. The strongest association was seen with facial injury, which increased the risk of death by fourfold.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Burns / epidemiology*
  • Burns / microbiology
  • Burns / pathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Facial Injuries / epidemiology
  • Facial Injuries / etiology
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sex Factors
  • Wound Infection / microbiology
  • Young Adult