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Burns. 2004 Aug;30(5):438-42.

Syncope and burns.

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Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong, PR China.


Syncope is a common condition that may lead to serious injuries including burns and head injury. To date, here has been no specific discussion of syncope and burns in the literature. A retrospective case-note review of consecutive patients admitted to a Tertiary Burns Centre over a 3.5-year-period was conducted. Five hundred and fifty nine patients were admitted during the study period. Six of these had burns related to alterations of consciousness that excluded alcohol/drug ingestion and epilepsy. The mean percentage body surface area burnt was 9.7%, the mean length of hospital stay was 28.5 days and the mean length of stay per percentage surface area burnt was 4.0 days per percent body surface burnt. The mean size of the injury in syncopal patients is slightly larger than the general burns patients (8.4%) but the length of stay is doubled. This is partly related to surgery being delayed due to investigation of the syncope episode. Focused investigations should reduce both the overall length of hospital stay and the number of investigations.

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