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A Study on Characteristics of Burn Patients Who were Admitted to a Tertiary Care Hospital in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka

Authors:

W. A. Chithrani ,

Teaching Hospital Karapitiya, LK
About W. A.
Office of the Judicial Medical Officer
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P. R. Ruwanpura

Teaching Hospital Karapitiya, LK
About P. R.
Office of the Judicial Medical Officer
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Abstract

Introduction: A burn is a type of injury to the skin, or other tissues, caused by heat, cold, electricity, chemicals, friction or radiation. It is a significant health hazard worldwide. According to the annual health bulletin 2015 in Sri Lanka, burn injuries responsible for 7.2% of all traumatic admissions per year. Most of them appeared to be preventable. The study was conducted to determine socio-demographic characteristics of patients with burn injuries, different circumstances, types of causative agents, knowledge about the first aids available, morbidity and mortality of patients.

 

Methodology: Data including age, sex, circumstances, burn agent, the incidence, first aid and details about arrival to the hospital were collected from June 2017 to July 2019 by an interviewer based questionnaire. The nature of burns and the total body surface area (TBSA) were determined by clinical examinations. The information regarding the management of the patients, length of hospital stay, complications developed and the outcome of the patient at discharge from the hospital was collected from Bed Head Tickets. Long term complications were observed and noted when patients visit the occupational therapist for rehabilitation. Anonymous data were entered in an Excel sheet and analyzed by SPSS software.

 

Results: Majority (62%) were from lower-middle social class. Majority of burn injuries (65%) are due to accidental burns. Commonly affected age group is the pediatric age group (32%). The commonest causative agents are hot water and other hot liquids (49%). Carelessness of handling thermal agent and non-anticipation of injuries by caregivers of children were identified as main causes for burn injuries. Even though 58% of patients were giving some kind of first aids following a burn, knowledge about correct methods of the first aid was minimal. Self-inflicted burn injuries accounted for 25% of cases and06% accounted for injuries due to chemical assaults. The mean surface area (TBSA) of burnswas14% and the depth of the burn depended on the causative agent and the condition of the given first aid. Of them, 27% of injuries were categorized as non-grievous, 58% as grievous, 13% as Fatal in the ordinary cause of nature and 02% as necessarily fatal.

 

Conclusion: Burn injuries account considerably to the morbidity and mortality in the surgical wards. Majority of burns are due to accidental causes. They are preventable by careful handling of hot agents and electricity and taking precautions to prevent injuries by caregivers of children. The knowledge of correct methods of the first aids among people is very low. By giving proper first aids reduces the depth of wound and thereby, the hospital stay can be reduced.
How to Cite: Chithrani, W.A. and Ruwanpura, P.R., 2020. A Study on Characteristics of Burn Patients Who were Admitted to a Tertiary Care Hospital in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka. Medico-Legal Journal of Sri Lanka, 8(1), pp.8–14. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/mljsl.v8i1.7403
Published on 30 Jun 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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