The burden of burn injuries at the accident and emergency department in a tertiary hospital in Northern Cape province
AbstractObjectives: Statistics on admissions to the Kimberley Hospital Burn Unit are collected annually, but there are no current statistical data on the prevalence of burn injuries seen at the hospital’s emergency and accident department. Design: This was a retrospective descriptive assessment of emergency entries obtained from the accident and emergency department registry at Kimberley Hospital from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013. Subjects and setting: A total of 25 540 patients were treated in the accident and emergency department of Kimberley Hospital, of whom 9 433 were trauma and 16 107 non-trauma patients. Outcome measures: Epidemiological data were compiled and statistical analysis performed in order to obtain information on injury prevalence. Results: Burn-related injuries within the trauma population corresponded to 3.18% of injuries. Sixty-seven per cent of the adults were male and 33% female. Fire was the most common cause of burns in adults. Being scalded was the most common cause of a burn injury in children aged five years and younger. Male (54%) and female (64%) children were almost equally injured. Fifty-one per cent of burn injuries seen in casualty were admitted to Kimberley Hospital’s Burns Unit. Conclusion: Prevalence studies are important to address prevention strategies with regard to burn injuries in the country. The prevalence of patients with burn-related injuries presenting to our accident and emergency department seemed to correlate with that in previously published studies.
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