Pediatric Surgery Service, Hospital Dona Estefânia, Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Central, E.P.E.
- The Euro-Mediterranean Council for burns and Fire disasters. Palermo 6-8 Junho 2012.
Burns are the second leading cause of death in children under five. The poor outcome in burns is due to scar formation, contractures, deformities and functional limitations, which result in poor quality of life.
This epidemiological study was conducted in the major referral hospital for pediatric burns in Portugal. We included all the patients admitted in 2010 and 2011.
During this period 670 children were admitted for burns, 34% requiring inpatient care. Referrals represented 50% of all patients, 45% of which remained hospitalized. The mean hospital stay was 17 days (min 1; max 153). The mean age was 4,19 years (min 0,06; max 17,87). The male-to-female ratio was 1.4 to 1. Comorbidities were present in 19 children, mainly cognitive impairment. Scald burns were the most common (61%), followed by contact burns (27,5%). Most burns (76%) were superficial second degree and 7% had some third degree component. The majority concerned the hand with or without the forearm (55%). The total body surface area was 6% ± 4,89%. Infection occured in 14% of hospitalized children, 45% with MSSA. Three patients had sepsis. The major interventions were physical rehabilitation (17%) and debridement (9%). Although most patients had no sequelae, 10% had residual hypopigmentation and 2% had scarring. There was no mortality during the study period.
There is a need for a burn prevention programme in Portugal. Great attention should be paid when hot liquids are handled.
Keywords: Pediatric Burns.