[Analysis of clinical data of 16 595 pediatric burn patients during fifteen years]

Xiang-jun Chen, De-xiong Yan, Guo-zhen Gao, Gong-sheng Wang, Xing-wei Yao, De-zhi Han, Li Wang, Zhuang Su, Ji-ping Xing
Zhonghua Shao Shang za Zhi, Zhonghua Shaoshang Zazhi, Chinese Journal of Burns 2013, 29 (1): 6-10

OBJECTIVE: To analyze the epidemiological characteristics of pediatric burn in the midwest region of Inner Mongolia and the related areas, and to provide reference for seeking pertinent measures of prevention and treatment.

METHODS: Medical records of patients hospitalized in the 253rd Hospital of PLA, the 322nd Hospital of PLA, and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Hospital from January 1996 to December 2010 were collected. Patients were divided into pediatric burn group with specific reason (group SF, with scald resulted from construction defect of Guo-lian-kang--a heatable brick bed linked to a cooking pot), and burn control group with other causes (group C) according to the main injury cause. Clinical data of patients in both groups, including general condition, family background, occurrence regularity, and outcome, were analyzed. The epidemiological trend of variation before and after taking preventive measures (1996 to 2001 and 2002 to 2010) was compared. Data were processed with chi-square test and rank sum test.

RESULTS: (1) General condition: out of 16 595 pediatric burn patients, 15 816 cases (95.3%) suffered scald due to liquids with high temperature, and 779 cases (4.7%) suffered burns due to other causes. Patients in group SF (scald due to specific cause--Guo-lian-kang) accounted for 32.2% (5089/15 816) of the total suffered scald by liquids with high temperature, and 30.7% (5089/16 595) of all the inpatients the cause of burn was related to Guo-lian-kang (group SF). The patients in group SF admitted to the 322nd Hospital of PLA accounted for 34.2% of all the inpatients admitted to this hospital (1803/5267), more than the other two hospitals in this study. The number of patients in group C was 11 506, accounted for 69.3% of all the inpatients. The age of patients ranged from 8 months to 5 years in group SF and 1 month to 12 years in group C. The age of the majority of patients ranged from 1 to 3 years in both groups. The ratio of male to female was 2.1:1.0 in group SF and 1.4:1.0 in group C. The incidence of scald involving multiple body parts in group SF (3590 cases accounting for 70.5%) was obviously higher than that of group C (6311 cases accounting for 54.8%, χ(2) = 361.138, P < 0.01). In both group SF and group C, the incidence in different sites was ranked from high to low as follows: upper limbs, lower limbs, the head-face-neck region, and the trunk. The degree of injury in group SF was much more severe than that of group C (Z = 27.770, P < 0.01). The rate of patients without pre-hospital treatment was 31.2% (1588/5089) in group SF, which was obviously higher than that of group C (24.8%, 2857/11 506, χ(2) = 73.010, P < 0.01). The rate of patients treated with cryotherapy was obviously lower in group SF (14.7%, 747/5089) than in group C (19.6%, 2255/11 506, χ(2) = 57.636, P < 0.01). The rate of patients treated with delayed resuscitation (6 hours after injury) in group SF (31.5%, 1601/5089) was obviously higher than that of group C (7.8%, 897/11 506, χ(2) = 1545.234, P < 0.01). (2) Family background and occurrence regularity: in group SF, 67.3% (3424/5089) of the patients came from farming area, 22.1% (1123/5089) from villages and towns, and 10.7% (542/5089) from urban areas. In group C, 32.4% (3727/11 506) of the patients came from farming area, 48.4% (5570/11 506) from villages and towns, and 19.2% (2209/11 506) from urban areas. Most of the patients in group SF (77.8%, 3958/5089) were injured between October and March, while most of the patients in group C (58.2%, 6697/11 506) were injured between May and October. (3) Outcome and epidemiological variation: the cure rate of patients in group SF was 32.3% (1645/5089), which was obviously lower than that of group C (44.7%, 5143/11 506, χ(2) = 215.615, P < 0.01). The mortality of patients in group SF was 1.6% (79/5089), and it was obviously higher than that of group C (0.4%, 46/11 506, χ(2) = 62.700, P < 0.01). From 1996 to 2001, patients in group SF accounted for 42.5% (2213/5212), while patients in group C accounted for 57.5% (2999/5212) of the inpatients scalded by hot liquid. After taking preventive measures against injury due to Guo-lian-kang, incidence of scald injury in group SF was lowered to 27.1% (2876/10 604), while the incidence in group C remained at 72.9% (7728/10 604) of the inpatients with hot liquid scald from 2002 to 2010. The difference between the two periods was statistically significant (χ(2) = 376.695,P < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: The defect of construction of Guo-lian-kang is one of the main factors that lead to a high incidence of pediatric burn in the midwest of Inner Mongolia. Installation of a protective bannister between the cooking pot and the "kang (heatable brick bed)" can obviously reduce the incidence of scald injury. Special injury-causing factors, unprofessional pre-hospital treatment of the wound, delayed resuscitation after shock are the main causes of increasing mortality and disability, and they constitute the key targets of prevention and treatment of such injury in future.

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