Background Like other injuries, the majority of burns (90%) occur in low and middle-income countries (LMIC). However, burn epidemiology is highly variable between regions, with females having a higher prevalence in some areas. This projects aims to examine the demographics of burn patients and the proportion and characteristics of those who seek care.
Methods Injury and burn injury data was collected by survey on care seeking behaviour after injury in Maringá, Brazil between May and September 2015. Surveys compiled household demographics, then randomly selected one household member to provide lifetime injury history. Injuries due to burns were analysed by frequency and chi-square to describe the relationship between burns and care seeking with consideration to gender, occupation and injury severity, defined as immediate loss of normal functioning.
Results 2678 surveys were collected reporting 812 injuries including 120 burns. 86 (71.7%) of the reported burn patients were women and half (55%) were 18–55 years old. 31.4% of women were housewives and 32.7% of men were self-employed. Significantly more burn victims (39.2%) did not seek care compared to non-burn injury victims (9.66%, P < 0.001). Of the burn victims that did not seek care, 74.7% were female compared to 50% of the non-burn injury victims. Burn victims had a 7.8 (P < 0.001) increased odds of not seeking care compared to road traffic victims. Most burn patients (90%, equal for both sexes) reported no long-term disability from their burn.
Conclusions A disproportionate number of women are injured by burns in Maringá, similar to other LMIC likely due to gender roles. Of the women injured by burns, 40% did not seek care and almost a third of those women were severely injured, suggesting significant barriers to appropriate treatment. This study offers important information on a subset of burn victims with potentially severe injuries that are not accounted for due to the fact that they did not seek care.
- emergency medicine
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