Spokesperson Professor James Harrison said that around two-thirds of admitted cases were men and that population based rates were highest in the 0-4 age group.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 9% of all burn cases and had a higher rate of hospitalisation (58 cases per 100,000) than other Australians (22 cases per 100,000),” Professor Harrison added.
He said that while burn injuries made up a small fraction (1%) of all hospitalisations for injury, they were often serious and resulted in numerous repeat admissions and long lengths of stay.
- In 2013–14 there were 5,430 cases of hospitalised burn injury. About two-thirds were male (3,654 cases)
- The highest rate of burn injury was in the youngest age group (0–4) for both boys (75 cases per 100,000 population) and girls (51 cases per 100,000 population)
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 9% of all burn cases and had a higher rate of hospitalisation (58 cases per 100,000 population) than other Australians (22 cases per 100,000 population).
- In both the general population and the Indigenous population the rate of hospitalised burn cases was highest in the youngest age group (0–4).
- Most burn cases admitted to a hospital had burns of partial thickness of the skin (70%, 3,269 cases) or full thickness (23%, 1,070), rather than to the top layer of skin only.
- About one-fifth (21%, 1,158 cases) of burns were to the wrist and hand but body region burned varied by age.
- In very young children burns to the trunk (21%) were also common
- Older Australians (aged 65 and over) had the highest proportion of burns to the hip and lower limb (22%)
Professor Harrison said the team had looked at three main cause groups of burns.
“These were exposure to smoke, fire and flames; contact with heat and hot substances; and other external causes of burns,” he said.
“Contact with heat and hot substances accounted for almost half of all cases (45%).”
- The average length of stay for all burn cases was 7 days; and was longer for older Australians aged 65 and over at 13 days.
- About 5% (246 cases) of hospitalised burn cases spent time in an intensive care unit with an average length of stay of 141 hours per case.
- In 2013–14, 48 people died after being admitted to a hospital because of burns (29 males and 19 females) – more than half (56%) of these deaths occurred among older Australians aged 65 and over (27 cases). Of those that died in hospital, 27 cases had full thickness burns to more than 50% of total body surface area.
- About 16% (850 cases) of hospitalised burn cases were considered high threat to life (HTTL).
- The average length of stay was much higher for HTTL cases at 17 days.
- More than four out of five HTTL burn cases (84%) had sustained a full skin thickness burn injury.
Read the full report here: http://www.aihw.gov.au/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=60129557696
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