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Burns. 2001 Sep;27(6):583-90.

Predicting survival in an elderly burn patient population.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, The University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.


The purpose of this study was to analyze the outcome of elderly burn victims and to determine an instrument to predict survival in this population. Charts of three hundred and eight burn patients > or =60 yr of age who were admitted to a university-based hospital between the years of 1977-1996 were retrospectively analyzed. The mean age of the population was 71.5+/-8.6, with a male predominance (1.8 to 1, P < 0.001). The majority of the burns were secondary to flame injuries (210, 68.6%). The median body surface area (BSAB) was 13.0% with an in-hospital mortality rate of 30.2%. We demonstrated improved survival in patients aged 60-74 yr as compared to 1965-1971 national burn survival data. A similar trend could not be shown in the very old (> 75 yr of age). Only age and BSAB were related to death by multiple stepwise forward linear regression. The Baux score, which adds age and BSAB, was predictive of outcome in 87.0% of our population. In conclusion, this study reinforces the high mortality associated with burn injuries in the elderly and the superior ability of the Baux score (age + percent burn) in predicting outcome in this population.

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