Clinical Epidemiology of Acute Burn Injuries at Nepal Cleft and Burn Centre, Kathmandu, Nepal

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Abstract

Background

Burn injury is a global health problem mainly occurring in developing countries. The Nepal Cleft and Burn Centre at Kirtipur Hospital, Kathmandu, has been providing the acute burn care since 2013 with 7 intensive care unit beds, 30 general beds, and 2 dedicated operating rooms. A similar descriptive study was performed in this center in 2014. These studies will be helpful for developing prevention strategies and monitoring the progress in the standard of care of acute burn patients.

Method

This is a descriptive retrospective study of the clinical data of acute burn patients admitted from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2016.

Results

There were a total of 567 patients who came from 63 of 75 total districts of Nepal. Two hundred ninety-six (52.2%) patients were females and 271 (47.8%) were males. Two thirds of the patients were young adults. Most of the injuries occurred inside the house (72.1%). Flame burn was the most common mode of injury (66%) followed by scald (21.6%). Only 64 (11.3%) patients arrived on the same day of the injury. The longest time elapsed was 60 days with a median of 4.3 days. Range of total body surface area (TBSA) involved was 1% to 95%. The mean and median TBSAs were 25% and 15%, respectively. Range of hospital stay was 1 to 105 days with a median of 13.3 days.

Results

A total of 448 surgical procedures were performed in 384 patients (67.7%). A total of 110 (19.4%) patients died at the hospital. Only 13 patients (3%) survived deep burn injury involving 40% or more TBSA with either cadaveric skin allograft or with skin allograft from the live relatives.

Conclusions

The outcome of burn injuries in Nepal is very poor. Children and females are at high risk. There is a lack of knowledge about burn prevention, proper first aid, and skin donation among the Nepalese population. Delay in presentation and extensive burns are poor prognostic factors. Awareness programs about the proper first aid and the need of a skin bank has to be done to improve the burn scenario in Nepal. Availability of allograft can increase the chances of survivability of patients with extensive burns in Nepal.

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