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Ulus Travma Acil Cerrahi Derg. 2020 Mar;26(2):222-226. doi: 10.14744/tjtes.2019.65780.

Electrical burns and complications: Data of a tertiary burn center intensive care unit.

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Department of General Surgery, Adana City Training and Research Hospital, Burn Center, Adana-Turkey.



To review the records of electrical burn patients hospitalized in our burn intensive care unit (ICU) and to report the complications together with our treatment results.


Demographic data, burn mechanism, presentation, percentage of burn total body surface area (TBSA), abbreviated burn severity index (ABSI) scores, complications and treatment approaches of electrical burn patients admitted to our burn ICU between September 2017 and August 2018 were evaluated retrospectively in this study.


Electrical burn injury patients consisted of 17.9% of the patients who were hospitalized in burn ICU (n=139). All patients were male, and the median age was 27.0 years. Twenty-three patients (92%) were burned with high voltage electricity. The median percentage of burn TBSA score was 20.0. Eight patients had an accompanying head, a vertebra or extremity injuries. Sixteen patients (64%) were injured at work. Sixteen patients (64%) recovered with complications. ICU stay and total hospital stay were significantly higher in the group that healed with complications (p=0.005 and p=0.001, respectively). However, no significant differences were detected in burn TBSA and ABSI scores. TBSA and ABSI scores were correlated with ICU and total hospital stay.


The proportion of our electrical burn patients is higher than reported in the literature. Burn TBSA and ABSI scores seem unrelated to prognosis. As the majority of patients are burned with high-voltage electricity at work, these injuries can be reduced by following occupational safety principles. Because of the high rate of complications in electrical burns, an experienced health team in well-equipped centers should treat patients in accordance with updated guidelines.

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