Click on the icon on the upper right hand side for the article by Josef Haik, MD, Alon Liran, MD, Ariel Tessone, MD, Adi Givon, BA, Arie Orenstein, MD and Kobi Peleg, PhD, MPH.
IMAJ 2007: 9: September: 659-662
Background: Burns are a major public health problem, with long hospitalization stay in both intensive care units and general wards. In Israel about 5% of all hospitalized injuries are burn injuries. There are no long-term epidemiological studies on burn injuries in adults in Israel.
Objectives: To identify risk factors for burn injuries and provide a starting point for the establishment of an effective prevention plan.
Methods: We analyzed the demographic, etiologic and clinical data of 5000 burn patients admitted to the five major hospitals with burn units in Israel during a 7 year period (1997–2003). Data were obtained from the records of the Israeli National Trauma Registry. The differences between various groups were evaluated using the chi-square test.
Results: Male gender was twice as frequent as female gender in burn patients (68.0% vs. 31.9%), and Jewish ethnicity was more common than non-Jewish (62.3% vs. 36.8%). Second and third-degree burns with body surface areas less than 10% constituted the largest group (around 50%). The largest age group was 0–1 years, constituting 22.2% of the cases. Inhalation injury was uncommon (1.9%). The most common etiologies were hot liquids (45.8%) and open fire (27.5%). Children less than 10 years old were burnt mainly by hot liquids while the main cause of burns for adults > 20 years old was an open flame. The majority of burns occurred at home (58%); around 15% were work related. The mean duration of hospitalization was 13.7 days (SD 17.7); 15.5% were in an intensive care unit with a mean duration of 12.1 days (SD 17.1). Surgical procedures became more common during the period of the study (from 13.4% in 1998 to 26.59% in 2002, average 19.8%). The mortality rate was 4.4%. We found a strong correlation between burn degree and total body surface area and mortality (0.25% mortality for 2nd to 3rd-degree burns with less than 10% TBSA, 5.4% for 2nd to 3rd-degree burns with 20–39% TBSA, and 96.6% for burns > 90% TBSA). The worst prognosis was for those over the age of 70 (mortality rate 35.3%) and the best prognosis was for the 0–1 year group (survival rate 99.6%).
Conclusions: The groups at highest risk were children 0–1 years old, males and non-Jews (the incidence rate among non-Jews was 1.5 times higher than their share in the general population). Those with the highest mortality rate were victims of burns > 90% TBSA and patients older than 70. Most burns occurred at home.