Burns in motor vehicle accidents

J Trauma. 1985 Mar;25(3):216-9. doi: 10.1097/00005373-198503000-00008.


Burns received as a result of motor vehicle accidents (MVA's) create special problems in their care, as they are frequently severe and are often associated with other injuries. One hundred seventy-eight consecutive patients with burns sustained in an MVA were studied. The mean TBSA burn was 33.9%. The mortality was 24.7%, but the mean burn size in this fatal group was almost doubled at 63.9%. The injury most commonly associated with death was inhalation injury (in 36.3%). Thirty-six per cent of the patients sustained other injuries in addition to their burn, the most frequent of which was to the musculoskeletal system (67 injuries). Multiple trauma had little effect on mortality unless severe, but fractures especially complicated burn wound care unless surgically stabilized. Current methods of management are presented along with our approach to multiply injured burn patients.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Burns / epidemiology
  • Burns / etiology*
  • Burns / mortality
  • Burns / pathology
  • Burns, Inhalation / etiology
  • Burns, Inhalation / mortality
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / complications
  • Fractures, Bone / surgery
  • Fractures, Bone / therapy
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Wounds and Injuries / complications