Healthcare Costs of Burn Patients From Homes Without Fire Sprinklers

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The treatment of burn injuries requires high-cost services for healthcare and society. Automatic fire sprinklers are a preventive measure that can decrease fire injuries, deaths, property damage, and environmental toxins. This study’s aim was to conduct a cost analysis of patients with burn or inhalation injuries caused by residential fires and to compare this with the cost of implementing residential automatic fire sprinklers. We conducted a cohort analysis of adult burn patients admitted to our provincial burn center (1995–2012). Patient demographics and injury characteristics were collected from medical records and clinical and coroner databases. Resource costs included average cost per day at our intensive care and rehabilitation program, transportation, and property loss. During the study period, there were 1557 residential fire-related deaths province-wide and 1139 patients were admitted to our provincial burn center as a result of a flame injury occurring at home. At our burn center, the average cost was CAN$84,678 per patient with a total cost of CAN$96,448,194. All resources totaled CAN$3,605,775,200. This study shows the considerable healthcare costs of burn patients from homes without fire sprinklers.

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