Epidemiology of Fatal Burn injuries in a Teaching Hospital in West Bengal

AUTHOR(s) : Chatterjee Saptarshi, Sardar Tanmay, Mohanta Tanay
DOI No. :

Introduction: Burn is a public health problem, causing an estimated 2, 65,000 deaths annually all over the world. Aims: The present study was conducted to study the epidemiology of fatal burn cases in a hospital based sample. Methods: Retrospective and cross-sectional prospective studies were used to determine all the fatal burn cases reported at the Burdwan Medical College Police Morgue. Results: From 2007-2009, the percentage of deaths due to fatal burn injuries was reported to be 10.78%, 12.81% and 11.91% respectively. The mean percentage of males and females is 18.84% and 81.15% respectively. Most of the victims were of the age group of 20-40 years. Rural dwellers were affected more, with the toll rising in winter months. Accidental deaths were rather common (53.61%). 24.74% was due to burn related dowry deaths. Maximum incidents of burn happened between 6.00 p.m. and 12.00 midnights. Maximum rate of mortality is within first 12 hours of sustaining injuries, with the percentage of burn being inversely proportional to the time of survival. Conclusion: Legislation, health promotion and appliance design have reduced the incidence of burns, with regulations regarding flame-retardant clothes and furniture, the promotion of smoke alarms, the design of cookers and gas fires, the almost universal use of cordless kettles, the education of parents and proper functioning of burn units of hospitals at all levels.

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