Clin Surg | Volume 7, Issue 1 | Research Article | Open Access

Burns in Pediatric Trauma Patients

Jikol Friend1, Monique Bertinetti1, Torey Lawrence1, Soundappan SV Soundappan1,2, Erik R La Hei1 and Andrew JA Holland1,2*

1The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Burns Unit and Burns Research Institute, Australia
2Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Australia

*Correspondance to: Andrew JA Holland 

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Introduction: The diagnosis and management of burns may be delayed in trauma patients due to other life-threatening injuries. Improved recognition of common patterns of simultaneous burns and trauma may facilitate early identification and treatment. Methods: The Children's Hospital at Westmead (CHW) is the only burn referral center and a major tertiary pediatric trauma center in New South Wales (NSW). A retrospective review of all patients admitted with trauma and an associated burn injury between January 2014 and January 2020 was performed to identify patterns in mechanism of injury and management. Results: A total of 2,441 patients were recorded on the trauma registry from January 2014 to January 2020. When correlated with the burns registry, 115 of these patients sustained 118 burns. The majority of injuries occurred in males (67%) aged 12 to 15 years of age. Common mechanisms were Motor Vehicle (MV) crash passengers (2.6%), falls (0.9%), MV vs. pedestrian (15.7%), Motorbike (MB) (3.5%) and bicycle (4.3%) crashes. These resulted in recognizable patterns of injury: MV passengers sustained airbag chemical (0.1%) and friction burns (0.3%); MB injuries included exhaust contact (0.4%) and tire friction (0.7%) burns; pedestrians and cyclists dragged behind vehicles sustained friction burns (5.2% and 2.6%); rope friction burns occurred in hanging; Non-Accidental Injury (NAI) burns were heterogeneous (scald, chemical, friction and contact burns) with a high median Injury Severity Score (ISS 29). Conclusion: Nearly 5% of pediatric trauma patients sustain burn injuries. This study identified typical patterns depending on the mechanism of injury. Improved recognition should facilitate earlier recognition and treatment of burns in pediatric trauma patients.


Friend J, Bertinetti M, Lawrence T, Soundappan SSV, La Hei ER, Holland AJA. Burns in Pediatric Trauma Patients. Clin Surg. 2022; 7: 3531..

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