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Burns. 2013 May;39(3):483-92. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2012.07.025. Epub 2012 Sep 17.

Neonatal burns in Lagos, South-Western Nigeria: Epidemiology and outcome of management.

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College of Medicine, University of Lagos/Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria.



Burns in the neonate are rare and result mostly from iatrogenic sources in developed countries. The socioeconomic settings of developing countries are different from those in the developed countries. A review of the epidemiology and management of burns in the neonates in Lagos, Nigeria is presented.


The case notes of burns in patients less than 29 days-old from 2004 to 2008 in 4 tertiary health institutions in Lagos were retrieved from the Medical Records Department; necessary data were extracted and analyzed.


There were 21 neonates with burns within the study period. The incidence of neonatal burns ranged between 0.5 and 2.5%/year. The mean age was 16.38 ± 1.84 days and the mean BSA of 26.00 ± 5.53%. The etiology of burns was thermal in 19(90.5%) and chemical in 2(9.5%). Hypokalemia was common at early stages of their treatment. Burns were sustained at home in 90.5% of the cases. The mortality rate was 43.5%. Inhalation and thermal injuries were associated with most of the deaths.


Domestic incidents from flames are the commonest causes of neonatal burns in the study environment. These are associated with prolonged morbidity and high mortality rate. Health education, highlighting methods of prevention should be undertaken in the community. Well equipped burn centers should be established to treat burns in all age groups.

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