Media Contact: Eileen Callahan (619) 543-6163
UCSD REGIONAL BURN CENTER
RELEASES 1999 BURN STATISTICS
UCSD Regional Burn Center released its annual statistical report today
on people from San Diego and Imperial counties admitted to the Burn
Center from January through December 1999. The 440 pediatric and adult
patients reflected in the 1999 Burn Center census annual report,
ranging in age six weeks to 93, were admitted to the Burn Center for
burn injuries and smoke inhalation. The 1999 statistics show an
increase of 68 burn patients from the previous year.
The majority of burns occurred
in adults, with 239 admissions of individuals between ages 18-65, an
increase of 24 patients from 1998. Forty patients over age 65 were
Infants to three-year-olds
constituted 93 admissions, an increase of 23 patients from 1998.
Children between 4 and 12 accounted for 37 admissions. The teen
population ages 12 to18 had 12 admissions. For each group, injuries
primarily involved home accidents, with most of those in the two
youngest groups involving cooking and scalding accidents. Contact with
hot objects such as curling irons and clothing irons, hot coals,
"popper" fireworks, gasoline, gunpowder and barbecues are
also common causes of burn accidents in young children. These
accidents frequently result in third-degree burns, the most serious
form of burn, often requiring skin grafting.
"This is an opportunity
to remind people that most burn accidents occur in the home, most
incidents involving young children involve hot liquids or
cooking," said John Hansbrough, M.D., Director, UCSD Regional
Burn Center. "To prevent these accidents, which happen quickly
and are often quite serious, younger children in particular should not
be in the kitchen during cooking, and hot liquids should be kept out
of reach. We see more adolescent patients during the months
corresponding with school vacations, which may be associated with
decreased adult supervision and recreational activities that take
place during leisure time."
More than half of children
under four years of age, the largest pediatric patient group, were
injured by cooking and scalding-related incidents, with 41% of
scaldings involving "pull down" accidents, often involving
coffee and tea spills. Contact with hot objects caused approximately
33% of injuries in this group. For children between 4 and 12, cooking
and scalding still account for more than half of burn injuries, but
fire and flame related injuries led to almost 25% of admissions.
The largest percentage of
injuries in adults was from direct fire and flames, with
cooking-related injuries being the next most common cause of burns.
The majority of adults were burned in the home, but 20% of injuries in
patients between 30 and 65 occurred in the work place, in addition to
injuries incurred during recreational activities. Men accounted for 63
percent of the adult admissions.
The 40 patients over 65 were
predominately injured at home and for the most part were injured while
doing routine household activities.
Hispanic patients are
disproportionately represented in younger age groups, accounting for
50% of admissions under age 18. Caucasians represent the largest group
of adult admissions.
The UCSD Regional Burn Center
was established in 1973 to provide specialized medical care and
rehabilitation for severely burned patients. In the past 26 years, the
Burn Center has treated thousands of patients. The Center, with its
eighteen-bed inpatient facility, outpatient clinic and additional
research and patient care resources, is the only comprehensive burn
program in San Diego and Imperial counties.