Electrical Burn Injury: A Five-Year Survey of 682 Patients




Background: Electrical burn is less prevalent in comparison to other forms of burn injuries, however this type of injury is considered as one of the most devastating due to high morbidity and mortality. Understanding the epidemiologic pattern of electrical burns helps determine the contributing factors leading to this type of injury. Objectives: Epidemiologic studies on electrical burn are scarce in Iran. This study was conducted to evaluate electrical burn injury at our center. Materials and Methods: Demographic data, etiology, burn percentage and other measures related to electrical burn injury of 682 electrical burn patients treated from 2007 to 2011 were collected and analyzed. Results: We assessed 682 electrical burn patients (~10.8% of all burn patients); the mean age was 29.4 years and 97.8% were males. The mean hospital stay was 18.5 days and the mean burn extent was 14.43%. Severe morbidities caused 17 (2.5%) deaths. Amputation was performed in 162 cases. The most common amputation site was the fingers (35%). Most victims were workers and employees and 68.5% of electrical burns occurred at their workplace; 72% of electrical burns were due to high voltage electrical current (more than 1000 V). There was a correlation between voltage and amputation (P = 0.001) and also between voltage and fasciotomy (P = 0.033), but there was no correlation between voltage and mortality (P = 0.131) Conclusions: Electrical burn injuries are still amongst the highest accident-related morbidities and mortalities. Educating the population about the dangers and hazards associated with improper use of electrical devices and instruments is imperative.