Background Injuries from burns are a common cause of emergency department visits. Our institution has a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Grant (Injury Free Coalition for Kids [IFCK]) for injury prevention in a 4 zip code intervention areas in west Birmingham. This study identifies pediatric burn injury patterns and specifically injury patterns in the intervention area.
Methods A retrospective review of the burn unit registry for all outpatient pediatric burn injuries between March 2003 and July 2004 was performed. Hospital computer systems were accessed to determine insurance status and zip codes for each patient. All data were entered into Microsoft Access and analyzed using the computer program Epistat®. Odds ratios were calculated for burn injuries for the intervention area versus injuries overall.
Results A total of 423 patients were seen for outpatient burn therapy during this time period. There were 177 females (42%) and 246 males (58%). 208 were Caucasian (49%), 201 African American (48%), 11 Hispanic (2%), 2 Asian and 1 other. 172 patients were insured by Medicaid; 198 had private insurance, with 9 having All Kids and 44 patients having no insurance. 221 were contact burns with 140 scalds, 38 flame, 11 radiation. The most common agents responsible were 65 irons, 44 hot liquids (not water), 42 hot water, 38 grease, and 20 curling iron/curler contact. Of the 423 burns, 78 (18%) were in the IFCK intervention area. Iron injuries were significant in both groups; however, water was associated with burn injuries in a significantly higher proportion in the IFCK group compared to non-IFCK (OR 2.8, p = .005) (95% CI 1.3, 5.8) and a significantly higher proportion of grease burns occurred in the IFCK group (OR = 2.6, p = .03) (95% CI 1.2, 5.5).
Conclusion Contact burns, including irons, water, and grease, are a significant cause of outpatient burn injury. Water and grease are two important forms of ED visit burn injury for IFCK group. Major needs include burn prevention awareness as well as water heater devices, especially in our IFCK area.
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