NYMC Faculty Publications

Epidemiology and Outcomes of Burn Injuries at a Tertiary Burn Care Center in Bangladesh

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June 2019


Health Policy and Management


Globally, burns are among some of the most devastating injuries and account for more than 265,000 deaths worldwide. In Bangladesh alone, nearly 3000 people die annually from burn-related injuries. This study was conducted at the National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery in Dhaka, Bangladesh in June of 2016. Data included conducting surveys of hospitalized burn patients (N=66) and a chart review of deceased burn patients (N=88). In addition to reporting on the demographic profile of patients, information was also obtained on clinical measures during hospitalization. For non-fatal burns, high risk groups included young adult males (early 30s) of lower socioeconomic status. Among children, the most vulnerable group was found to be children less than eight years old. The most common non-fatal types of burn injuries were flame (35%), electrical (31%) and scald (24%). Discharged patients had an average hospital stay of around 30days with half of all patients requiring surgical intervention, thus indicating the severity of those cases and the need for resource-intensive care. Among the discharged patient population, factors significantly associated with a longer duration of hospital stay included severity of injury, not having received prior treatment before admission and whether or not patients required surgery during hospitalization. Among the mortality cases, the high-risk groups also included young adult males and children of around eight years of age. The average total body surface area (TBSA) sustained in these cases was 46.4%, with 65% of deaths attributable to complications from flame burns. These findings highlight the frequency and severity of burn injuries, identify vulnerable population groups and list common causes of burns in this large developing country of 160 million people. Furthermore, these findings may be applicable to the epidemiology and outcome of burns in similar low and middle income countries.