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Burn injuries in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka: an analysis and outcome in a tertiary care hospital, Batticaloa

Authors:

Selladurai Pirasath,

Teaching Hospital Batticaloa,, LK
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Velapoddy Jasotharan,

Faculty of Health Care Sciences, Eastern University of Sri Lanka, LK
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Peethamparam Jeepara

Teaching Hospital Batticaloa,, LK
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Abstract

Introduction: A high number of accidental and self-burn injuries are experienced in Batticaloa. This study was performed to evaluate the epidemiology, types, treatment and outcome of patients with burn injuries admitted to surgical units at the Teaching Hospital, Batticaloa.

Methods: Data were collected by interviewer administered questionnaires from all patients admitted with burn injuries to surgical units during the period 1 August 2011 to 31 March 2012 and analysed using the SPSS analytical package.

Results: Thirty nine (62%) of 63 victims were female; 67% were less than 40 years and 73% were married. Burn injuries were common (62%) in rural areas. The majority race was Tamil (81%), 14% were Muslim and 5% Sinhalese (5%). Accidental burn injuries (35, 56%) occurred more frequently than suicidal injuries (26, 41%). Some 3% were homicidal burn injuries. Use of traditional lamps (18, 51%) and kerosene oil cookers (9, 26%) were the main causes for accidental burn injuries. Psychological problems (6%), alcoholism (10, 16%) and epilepsy (3%) were risk factors for accidental burn injuries. Marital conflict (14, 54%) and courtship failure (6, 23%) were the significant (p<0.05) main contributors to suicidal burn injuries. Deep burns (73%) were common. Almost all patients required strong analgesics and prophylactic antibiotics. Skin graft (40%) was the mainstay of surgical treatment. Wound infections (52, 82%) were the commonest complication. Burn mortality was 15% (10). Mortality was greatest (7, 11%) for accidental burns during the second week of hospital stay, and was due to infection.

Conclusion: Accidental burn injuries were more common than suicidal injuries. Traditional lamps and kerosene oil cookers were the main causes for accidental injuries. Marital problems and courtship failure significantly contributed to suicidal burn injuries.

The Sri Lanka Journal of Surgery, August 2013 Volume 31, No. 2, Page 11-13

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/sljs.v31i2.5955

Keywords: Burns Suicide Batticaloa 
How to Cite: Pirasath, S., Jasotharan, V. & Jeepara, P., (2013). Burn injuries in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka: an analysis and outcome in a tertiary care hospital, Batticaloa. Sri Lanka Journal of Surgery. 31(2), pp.11–13. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljs.v31i2.5955
Published on 18 Aug 2013.
Peer Reviewed

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