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Pattern of burns at a paediatric hospital in Nairobi
  1. V M Mutiso*,
  2. S Khainga
  1. Correspondence Medical School, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 19681-00202, KNH, Nairobi, Kenya

Abstract

Introduction Burns are a common cause of morbidity and mortality in children and are largely preventable.

Objective To determine the patterns of burns among admissions at a paediatric hospital in Nairobi.

Methodology This was by retrospective survey.

Results The age range of the study population was from birth to above 20 years. Ages 1–4 comprised 52.5% and 5–9 years was 27.9% of all admissions respectively. Burns comprised 20.2% of all admissions (202 of 1001) and was the second commonest reason for admission after falls. It was also the second commonest diagnosis with the most common being fractures. The majority of children with burns had burns at multiple sites. The upper limbs were the commonest site with about 5% followed by chest, abdomen and thorax with 35.8%. The neck comprised 23.9%. As mentioned earlier, many were multiple burns and thus had burns in more than one region or site. The gluteal and genital area comprised 8.2% and the least burns was proplited fossa with 1.9%. The most common percentage burns was 5 9% with 33.3%. 10–14% comprised 23.3% while the third commonest percentage burns was below 5%. Only 0.2% received burns above 30% and above.

Discussion Burns are a common and significant cause of admission following injury in children.

Conclusion Urgent action needs to be taken to prevent burns, threat to life and significantly impact on quality of life among survivors in terms of cosmetic deformities with attendant psychosocial impact and physical deformities that impact ability.

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