Burn incidence and medical care use in the United States: estimates, trends, and data sources

J Burn Care Rehabil. Mar-Apr 1996;17(2):95-107. doi: 10.1097/00004630-199603000-00003.


Recent estimates related to annual burn incidence and medical care use in the United States include 5500 deaths from fire and burns (1991), 51,000 acute hospital admissions for burn injury (1991 to 1993 average), and 1.25 million total burn injuries (1992). Time trends from 1971 to 1991 reveal significant declines in each estimate. Taking into account the 25% increase in the U.S. population during this period, the rates of decline in deaths attributed to fire and burns and acute hospitalization for burn injury are both about 50%. The rates of decline are similar in sample statistics for all burns receiving medical care and for all burns above a reportable level of severity. In addition to providing current and time-series estimates, this article discusses burn injury coding issues and describes the data sources from which national and state estimates can be derived. The principal objective is to establish and describe a set of burn injury data baselines in a manner that will facilitate future tracking of burn incidence and medical care use at the national and state level by practitioners and researchers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Burn Units / statistics & numerical data*
  • Burns / epidemiology*
  • Burns / etiology
  • Burns / therapy
  • Data Collection
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Forms and Records Control
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Registries
  • Survival Rate
  • United States / epidemiology