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Burns. 2000 Jun;26(4):351-8.

Differences between burns in rural and in urban areas: implications for prevention.

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Département de Santé Publique, CHU Cochin, Port Royal, Université René Descartes, 24-27 Rue du Faubourg Saint Jacques, 75014, Paris, France.


This study aimed to identify typical features of burns in rural areas and to improve their prevention by comparing the characteristics of burnt patients and their burns in rural and urban areas. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 19 of the 23 French burns units over one year, using a structured questionnaire. We analysed the resulting database. Of the 1422 patients, excluding 188 burnt in unclassified areas, 420 (34%) were burnt in rural areas. Burns were more frequent in rural than in urban areas. Occupational burns were more frequent in rural than in urban areas. The characteristics of patients and burns did not differ between the areas. Patients burnt during everyday activities were older and more frequently had predisposing factors in rural than in urban areas. Burns occurred outdoors more often in rural than in urban areas and were frequently due to flames or explosions or to the use of barbecues or open fires. The hands and perineum were burnt more frequently in rural than in urban areas. Rural burns were more severe than urban burns: they were deeper, involved a larger body surface area and caused more deaths. Preventive measures in rural areas should take into account occupation and everyday activities. They should be specifically adapted to the profiles of burnt patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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