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Burn injuries take devastating toll on nation's children
Date:11/12/2007

The approach of winter season brings with it an increase in burn-related injuries to our nations children. Annually in the United States, fires and burns result in almost 4,000 deaths and more than 745,000 non-hospitalized injuries among all age groups.

A new study conducted by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Childrens Hospital, concludes that burn-associated injuries among children and adolescents in the U.S. may be a more significant public health concern than previously estimated. The study, published in the November issue of the Journal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation, estimates there are approximately 10,000 pediatric (18-years-old and younger) burn injuries annually in the U.S., resulting in almost $212 million in hospital inpatient charges.

Burns are a major source of pediatric death and disability and are associated with significant national healthcare resource utilization, said study senior author Gary Smith, MD, DrPH, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Childrens Hospital, and faculty member at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Burns often require long periods of rehabilitation, multiple skin grafts and extensive physical therapy. Not only can burn-related injuries leave patients with lifelong physical and psychological disabilities, they often also result in significant burdens for the patients families and caregivers.

The study found that children 2-years-old or younger were more likely to be hospitalized for burns to their hands or wrists and from contact with hot liquids or objects, compared with children 3 to 17-years-old who were more likely to be burned by fire. Children 2 years of age and younger accounted for half of the children hospitalized for burns, and almost two-thirds of hospitalized children were male. The average length of hospital stay was 7 days with an average inpatient hospital charge of $21,800.

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Contact: Mary Ellen Fiorino
MaryEllen.Fiorino@NationwideChildrens.org
614-722-4595
Nationwide Children's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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