An Analysis of Factors Associated with Burn Injury Outcomes in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

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An Analysis of Factors Associated with Burn Injury Outcomes in Low- and Middle-Income Countries


JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Publication date – Sep – 2020
Authors – Caitlin Jacobs BS, Jonathan Vacek MD MS, Benjamin Many MD MS, Megan Bouchard MD, Fizan Abdullah MD PhD
KeywordsBurn, Burn injury, global surgery, LMIC, plastic surgery, World Health Organization
Open access – Yes
SpecialityEmergency surgery
World region Global

Language – English
Submitted to the One Surgery Index on October 22, 2020 at 7:16 pm
Abstract:

Background
Burn injuries are a major cause of morbidity and mortality within low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The World Health Organization developed the Global Burn Registry to centralize data collection for the guidance of burn prevention programs. This study analyzed the epidemiologic and hospital-specific factors associated with burn injury outcomes in LMICs and high-income countries (HICs).

Methods
A retrospective review was performed using the Global Burn Registry over 3 y. Patients were stratified by income region. Bivariate analyses and stepwise regressions were performed to evaluate patient and hospital demographics and variables associated with injury patterns and outcomes. Outcomes of interest included mortality and length of stay.

Results
Over the study period, data were collected on 1995 patients from 10 LMICs (20 hospitals) and four HICs (four hospitals). Significantly higher mortality was seen in LMICs compared with HICs (17% versus 9%; P < 0.001). There was no significant difference between income regions for injury patterns (P = 0.062) or total body surface area of the burn injury (P = 0.077). Of the LMIC hospitals in this data set, 11% did not have reliable access to an operating theater.

Conclusions
HICs had a lower overall mortality even with higher rates of concurrent injuries, as well as longer length of stay. LMIC hospitals had fewer resources available, which could explain increased mortality, given similar total body surface area. This study highlights how investing in health care infrastructure could lead to improved outcomes for patients in low-resource settings.

OSI Number – 20692
PMID – 32892143

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