Epidemiology of Burns Treated by Yekatit 12 Burn Unit in 2016




Mehta, Kajal Anil

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BACKGROUND: Burns contribute significantly to the burden of disease, particularly in low and middle-income countries. There is a paucity of data regarding the epidemiology of burns in Ethiopia, and about burn injuries in Ethiopian urban settings. This study describes the epidemiology of burn injury admissions in a public tertiary care hospital burn unit. METHODS: A retrospective observational study was performed and the hospital records of the burn unit admissions, operating room logs and collected data sheets were utilized. All patients treated on an inpatient basis by the Yekatit 12 Hospital Burn Unit team between December 2015 and December 2016 were included in the study. RESULTS: A total of 184 burn hospitalizations were registered during this time period. Of the registered patients, 42.4% were female and 57.1% were male. The average age of the patients was 16.4 year old; 51.1% of patients were pediatric (<14 years old) with the average pediatric patient age of 4.36 years and average adult patient age of 29.4 years. Flame burns accounted for 35.8% of burns, scald 35.1%, electrical 27.8% and others <0.01%. The gender ratio was significantly dependent on the cause of burn (X2(10, N=184) = 35.9, p<0.0001), with males more likely to sustain electrical and scald burns (10.25 and 1.19 times the rate seen in females). The average total body surface area (TBSA) burned as calculated on the Lund-Browder scale, was 19.8% (n=77, SD=18.2). In admitted patients, 52.7% underwent operative treatment, with most frequent operation being split-thickness skin graft (STSG). The mortality rate was 13.3% (n=105). CONCLUSION: This is the most recent epidemiological study of burn patients in an urban setting in the last 15 years in Ethiopia. This research highlights the current picture of burn injuries in Addis Ababa. Many of the results are consistent with the literature of scald and flame burns being the predominant etiology, and a mortality rate of 13.3%. Though this study is limited by incomplete data, the proportion of burns due to electrical burns was higher than has been previously demonstrated, and thus warrants further study.

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