Burn is a major cause of injury-morbidity in all age groups in Bangladesh with prevalence rate of 9.89-per-1000 population in 2016. Children less-than-5 years and females are at the highest risk; flames are mainly responsible for fatal burns. To address a scarcity of information about injury patterns in rural communities and track injury trends, active community-based injury surveillance is being conducted in a rural sub-district since 2005.
To describe distribution and current patterns of burns in a rural community.
We analyzed surveillance data of January-June 2015 and compared burn events between genders and age-groups using one-tailed z-test for proportions and one-tailed two-sample t-test for means with 95 percent CI.
Burn-rate was 1.5-per-1000 population-per-year, lower than in the 2016 country-wide survey (p<0.01), with no mortality. Main patterns were hot-liquid burns (46 percent), hot-object burns (37 percent), and flame-burns (15 percent). Most burns occurred in kitchens (59 percent) and while playing near fire (41 percent). Females (n=70, 62 percent) had higher rates (1.8-per-1000), longer duration of illness (13 days, SD 8), and more hot-liquid burns (56 percent) (p<0.05 for all). One-to-four-year olds had the highest rate (5.1-per-1000) (p<0.01), and more hot-liquid burns, hot-object burns and flame-burns (p<0.01 for all patterns). Prior to burns, among those aged 1–4 years (n=36, 32 percent), all females (n=16) and most males (n=16, 80 percent) were playing near fire; 25–39 year-old females (n=20, 29 percent) were mainly cooking (n=15, 75 percent).
Reported burn-rate was low, high-risk groups matched previous findings, but the reason for longer duration of illness in females is unclear. Activities prior to burns matched behaviors typical for the high-risk groups.
We recommend further study in that community to identify reasons behind low burn-rate and longer duration of illness in females; a country-wide study to identify activities prior to burn in high-risk groups and consideration of those activities by policy-makers for designing interventions to prevent burns.
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