Economical Burden of Burn Injuries in a Developing Country

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Abstract

Burn injuries have economical impacts on patients in several ways. Understanding the charges of burn treatment is very important for patients, families, governmental authorities, and insurance companies. During the protocol of their treatment, they may be admitted several times for treatment of acute burn and then for reconstructive treatments of burn’s complications. Calculating the hospital burn charges can serve as an objective criteria for authorities to plan for a sufficient budget for acute burn treatment, for additional management for chronic complications, and as a guide for planning preventive and public educational programs. The authors used data of their burn registry program. During more than 3 years, the authors had 912 patients with multiple admissions for burns. All of hospital costs during several admissions were recorded. Men were 71% and women were 29% of the patients. Burns caused by flame were the most frequent (50.1%) followed by scald (34.0%). Mean hospital stay was 14.1 days (range, 0–64 days). Patients with TBSA equal to or less than 10% were 38.8%, TBSA between 11 and 22% were 29.1%, and TBSA more than 23% were 32.1%. Those who were admitted for 30 days or less were 34.1%, those between 31 and 131 days were 32.7%, and those with more than 132 days of admission were 33.2%. Mean hospital cost for all patients during the 3 years was about $2766 (range, from $143 to $33,566; median = 1586.93; SE = 93.84). The patients were admitted for treatment of acute burns and later admitted for reconstruction of the burn sequels. Total number of admissions was up to six times (median = 2). About 66.27% of the total charges were the cost of first admission, 19.39% the cost of second admission, 7.34% the cost of third admission, 3.56% for fourth admission, 2.3% for fifth admission, and 1.15% for last or sixth admission. The authors conducted a multiple linear regression test. Male sex, TBSA, length of stay, and number of admissions were significantly related to total treatment charges. But “age” did not influence the charges. Mean total cost of several burn admissions in one patient was around $2766. TBSA, length of stay, male sex, and number of admissions were significantly related to the hospital costs.

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