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West Afr J Med. 2004 Oct-Dec;23(4):294-9.

The pattern of paediatric burn injuries in Southwestern, Saudi Arabia.

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Department of Paediatrics, College of Medicine and Medical Sciences, King Khalid University, Abha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.



Burn injuries constitute a major concern in the paediatric age group with respect to morbidity and mortality particularly among children in developing countries. Burn injuries represent an extremely stressful experience for both the burn victims as well as their families.


To identify the pattern and demographic aspects of paediatric burn injuries (BI) at the Aseer Central Hospital, Abha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and to analyze morbidity and mortality as such information has not been reported from our locality.


All the 380 patients children aged <1 to 12 with BI admitted to the Burns Unit over six year period (January 1997--December 2002) of the Aseer Central Hospital Saudi Arabia. A special proforma was designed and the information entered included age, sex, residence, level of education, place and time of BI, brief description of the event, agent, and site(s) affected, total surface area burnt (TSAB), degree, depth, severity, date of admission and discharge.


Out of 380 patients in this study, 191 (50.3%) were boys and 189 (49.7%) were girls (M:F = 1.01:1). There was no statistical difference in the gender distribution (p=0.4). Saudi and non-Saudi patients constituted 362 (95.3%) and 18 (4.7%). Ninety (24%) were aged one year or below, 204 (54 %) included children older than one year but not older five years of age and 86 (22 %) were above five years of age but not older than 12 years. Whereas 64% of BI are due to scald, 27.6% were due to flame, 5 % were due to electrical while 1.8 % were due to chemical injury.


The majority of BI occur in children aged five years and below and most of these injuries occurred at home. Scald injuries predominated and length of hospital stay correlated well to the extent of burned body surface area.

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