Length of Stay per Total Body Surface Area Burn Relative to Mechanism: A Pediatric Injury Quality Improvement Collaborative Study

J Burn Care Res. 2022 Jul 1;43(4):863-867. doi: 10.1093/jbcr/irab212.


Studies on length of stay (LOS) per total body surface area (TBSA) burn in pediatric patients are often limited to single institutions and are grouped in ranges of TBSA burn which lacks specific detail to counsel patients and families. A LOS to TBSA burn ratio of 1 has been widely accepted but not validated with multi-institution data. The objective of this study is to describe the current relationship of LOS per TBSA burn and LOS per TBSA burn relative to burn mechanism with the use of multi-institutional data. Data from the Pediatric Injury Quality Improvement Collaborative (PIQIC) were obtained for patients across five pediatric burn centers from July 2018 to September 2020. LOS per TBSA burn ratios were calculated. Descriptive statistics and generalized linear regression which modeled characteristics associated with LOS per TBSA ratio are described. Among the 1267 pediatric burn patients, the most common mechanism was scald (64%), followed by contact (17%) and flame (13%). The average LOS/TBSA burn ratio across all cases was 1.2 (SD = 2.1). In adjusted models, scald burns and chemical burns had similar LOS/TBSA burn ratios of 0.8 and 0.9, respectively, whereas all other burns had a significantly higher LOS/TBSA burn ratio (p<0.0001). LOS/TBSA burn ratios were similar across races, although Hispanics had a slightly higher ratio at 1.4 days. These data establish a multi-institution LOS per TBSA ratio across PIQIC centers and demonstrate a significant variation in the LOS per TBSA burn relative to the burn mechanism sustained.

MeSH terms

  • Body Surface Area
  • Burn Units
  • Burns* / epidemiology
  • Burns* / therapy
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Quality Improvement*
  • Retrospective Studies