Two-year hospital records of burns from a referral center in Western Iran: March 2010-March 2012
BACKGROUND: Burns are among the most common injuries affecting a great number of people worldwide annually. In Iran, especially in its western region and in Kermanshah province, burns have a relatively high incidence. The present study was aimed at investigating epidemiological characteristics in Western Iran.
METHODS: Within a cross-sectional study, the data on all patients attending the Burns Center at Imam Khomeini Hospital (Kermanshah, Iran) during 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 (24 months) were collected. Then, age, gender, cause of burns, total body surface area, and time of the occurrence were extracted from the hospital records. The data were analyzed using the SPSS statistical package (Version 19, for Windows). We used chi-squared test when we compared the categorical responses between two or more groups. For comparing means between two groups we used t-test. In addition, trends were investigated using linear regression.
RESULTS: Overall 13 248 people were referred to the Burns Center at Imam Khomeini Hospital (Kermanshah, Iran) during the period of study, including 328 cases of self-immolation. The mean age of the patients was 27±19 years and 29±13 years for unintentional burns and self-immolation respectively. Out of the total number of unintentional cases, 6 519 (50.5%) were men, while the corresponding percentage of men among the self-immolation cases was 16.6% (p less than 0.001). Trends in the number of cases were cyclic, with the highest and lowest number of burns cases being in March and May. Overall, hot liquids and flammable materials were the two most important causes of unintentional burns. However, flammable materials were the main cause of burns among self-immolation cases. During hospital admission, 168 (51%) self-immolation victims and 43 (0.33%) unintentional burn victims died.
CONCLUSIONS: While major preventive measures are not adequately used in developing countries, burns and their burden can be significantly reduced by increasing public awareness and by applying simple preventive measures.