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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Epidemiological Investigation of Elderly Patients with Severe Burns at a Major Burn Center in Southwest China

Wensheng Wang, Junhui Zhang, Yanling Lv, Peng Zhang, Yuesheng Huang, Fei Xiang

Institute of Burn Research, State Key Laboratory of Trauma, Burns and Combined Injury, Southwest Hospital, Third Military Medical University (Army Medical University), Chongqing, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2020; 26:e918537

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.918537

Available online:

Published: 2020-01-06


BACKGROUND: The treatment of elderly patients with severe burns is difficult and the mortality rate is high. The aim of this study was to investigate the epidemiological features of elderly patients with severe burns.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Data from 109 elderly patients with severe burns between January 2009 and December 2018 were retrospectively analyzed. Demographic data, clinical characteristics, treatments, and outcomes were statistically analyzed.
RESULTS: Among the 109 elderly patients with severe burns, the male-to-female ratio was 1.73: 1.0. The median age of the elderly patients was 67 years, and the median total body surface area (TBSA) burned was 42%. Notably, 67.9% of burns occurred at home and most frequently occurred in summer (38.5%) and winter (28.4%); flame and flash burns predominated (83.4%). The incidence of inhalation injury was 35.8%, and pre-existing comorbidities were observed in approximately 51.4% of the patients. The median length of stay in the hospital per TBSA burned was 0.4 days. The mortality rate in the elderly patients was 24.8%, and the mortality rates in the ≥70% TBSA group, inhalation injury group, and patients with 3 or more pre-existing comorbidities were significantly higher than in the other groups. The risk of death increased with an increase in the number of pre-existing comorbidities (odds ratio: 2.222; 95% confidence interval: 1.174–4.205).
CONCLUSIONS: At a major burn center in Southwest China, the incidence and mortality of elderly patients with severe burns displayed no downward trend. There are etiological characteristics of these age groups that should be considered for prevention. Meanwhile, multidisciplinary treatment in a hospital and an increase in the social support for the elderly population might improve outcomes.

Keywords: Accident Prevention, Burns, Epidemiology, Frail Elderly