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Uruguayan Medical Journal

ISSN: 1688-0390

Vol.33 - Nº 4 - Dic. 2017

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Self-inflicted burns at the National Burns Center

Rev Med Urug 2017; 33: 254-260
Full text (spanish) |  Full text (spanish) (New windows, pdf) | Abstract


Burn related surgeries are a global health problem. In Uruguay, self-inflicted burns are an important cause of admission of critical and at risk burned patients to the National Burns Center (CENAQUE). The study aims to describe the epidemiological profile of patients admitted to the CENAQUE in general, and in particular, those who are admitted due to self-inflicted burns, including their biological, demographic and hospital-related indicators.

Method: retrospective, descriptive and observational study conducted at the CENAQUE from 1995 to 2015. All burned patients at the CENAQUE were included in the study, and also a group with self-inflicted burns were selected to analyse the cases in detail. Age, sex, geographical background, medical institution, cause of burn, total body surface area affected by burns (TBSA), depth and topography of burns, inhalation injury, psychiatric disorder, history of suicide attempt, alcohol abuse, hospital stay day and mortality were described.

Results: 2.723 admissions were recorded at the CENAQUE 275 patients were admitted with self-inflicted burns (10% of total number of cases): 57% men, average age was 40 years old. 37% had a history of previous suicide attempts, 57% had psychiatric disorders and 18% alcohol abuse. 54% evidenced inhalation injury, requiring 33 hospital stay days and mortality accounted for 33%.

Conclusions: most patients with self-inflicted burns were men, average age was 40 years old and had a history of psychiatric disorders. Also, the vast majority´s health insurance was covered by the National Administration of Health Services. Most of them also evidenced inhalation injuries, a third of which consisted of severely burned patients, mortality being 33%.