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Incidence of medically attended paediatric burns across the UK
  1. Katie Davies1,
  2. Emma Louise Johnson1,
  3. Linda Hollén1,2,3,
  4. Hywel M Jones1,
  5. Mark D Lyttle4,5,6,
  6. Sabine Maguire1,3,
  7. Alison Mary Kemp1,3
  8. on behalf of PERUKI
    1. 1 Division of Population Medicine, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, UK
    2. 2 Centre for Academic Child Health, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
    3. 3 The Scar Free Foundation Centre for Children’s Burn Research, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, Bristol, UK
    4. 4 Emergency Department, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Bristol, UK
    5. 5 Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK
    6. 6 Paediatric Emergency Research, Ireland, UK
    1. Correspondence to Dr Alison Mary Kemp, Division of Population Medicine, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff CF14 4YS, UK; kempam{at}


    Objective Childhood burns represent a burden on health services, yet the full extent of the problem is difficult to quantify. We estimated the annual UK incidence from primary care (PC), emergency attendances (EA), hospital admissions (HA) and deaths.

    Methods The population was children (0–15 years), across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (NI), with medically attended burns 2013–2015. Routinely collected data sources included PC attendances from Clinical Practice Research Datalink 2013–2015), EAs from Paediatric Emergency Research in the United Kingdom and Ireland (PERUKI, 2014) and National Health Services Wales Informatics Services, HAs from Hospital Episode Statistics, National Services Scotland and Social Services and Public Safety (2014), and mortality from the Office for National Statistics, National Records of Scotland and NI Statistics and Research Agency 2013–2015. The population denominators were based on Office for National Statistics mid-year population estimates.

    Results The annual PC burns attendance was 16.1/10 000 persons at risk (95% CI 15.6 to 16.6); EAs were 35.1/10 000 persons at risk (95% CI 34.7 to 35.5) in England and 28.9 (95% CI 27.5 to 30.3) in Wales. HAs ranged from 6.0/10 000 person at risk (95% CI 5.9 to 6.2) in England to 3.1 in Wales and Scotland (95% CI 2.7 to 3.8 and 2.7 to 3.5, respectively) and 2.8 (95% CI 2.4 to 3.4) in NI. In England, Wales and Scotland, 75% of HAs were aged <5 years. Mortality was low with 0.1/1 000 000 persons at risk (95% CI 0.06 to 0.2).

    Conclusions With an estimated 19 574 PC attendances, 37 703 EAs (England and Wales only), 6639 HAs and 1–6 childhood deaths annually, there is an urgent need to improve UK childhood burns prevention.

    • burn
    • child
    • epidemiology

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    • Collaborators The following actied as PERUKI site lead investigators and were responsible for co-ordinating local processes and submission of data: R Alcock (Forth Valley Royal Hospital, Larbert); M Anderson (Great North Children’s Hospital, Newcastle); Y Baki (University College Hospital, London); M Barrett (Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin); J Bayreuther (University Hospital Southampton); C Bevan (Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, Brighton); T Bolger (Tallaght Children’s Hospital, Tallaght); A Brown (Southmead Hospital, Bristol); J Browning (Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh); M Buchanan (Arowe Park Hospital, Liverpool); D Burke (Sheffield Children’s Hospital); F Cantle (King’s College Hospital, London); M Clark (The Royal London Hospital); J Criddle (The Evelina Hospital, London); K Dickson-Jardine (Morriston Hospital, Swansea); A Downes (Leeds General Infirmary); S Floyd (Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust); J Foot (Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton); S Foster (Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow); J Furness (County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust); E Gilby (Royal United Hospital, Bath); C Gough (Nottingham Children’s Hospital); S Gupta (North Manchester General Hospital); J Hacking (Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London); S Hartshorn (Birmingham Children’s Hospital); Y Iqbal (St George’s Hospital, London); M Jacobs (Watford General Hospital); K Lenton (Salford Royal Hospital); I Maconochie (St Mary’s Hospital, London); JA Maney (Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children); R McNamara (Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, Dublin); S Messahel (Alder Hey Children’s Hospital); J Mulligan (Crosshouse Hospital, Kilmarnock); N Mullen (Sunderland Royal Hospital); S Owens (Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust); G Patton (Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital); K Potier (Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital); D Rea (Bristol Royal Hospital for Children); A Reuben (Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital); Z Roberts (Children’s Hospital for Wales); G Robinson (Royal Derby Hospital); D Roland (Leicester Royal Infirmary); T Sajjanhar (University Hospital Lewisham); A Scott (James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough); J Smith (Derriford Hospital, Plymouth); C Vorwerk (Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth); S Wong (Royal Free Hospital, London).

    • Contributors None.

    • Funding This work was not directly funded but supported by researchers from The Centre for Children’s Burns Research is part of the Burns Collective, a Scar Free Foundation initiative with additional funding from Health and Care Research Wales. HJ is supported by The Farr Institute CIPHER, funded by Arthritis Research UK, the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Medical Research Council, the National Institute of Health Research, the National Institute for Social Care and Health Research (Welsh Assembly Government), the Chief Scientist Office (Scottish Government Health Directorates), and the Wellcome Trust (MRC Grant No: MR/K006525/1).

    • Competing interest No authors have conflicts of interest relevant to this article to disclose. The corresponding author has the right to grant on behalf of all authors and does grant on behalf of all authors, an exclusive licence (or non-exclusive for government employees) on a worldwide basis to the BMJ Group and co-owners or contracting owning societies (where published by the BMJ Group on their behalf), and its Licensees to permit this article (if accepted) to be published in Injury Prevention and any other BMJ Group products and to exploit all subsidiary rights, as set out in our licence.

    • Patient consent for publication Not required.

    • Ethics approval ISAC approval was received September 2016 for CPRD data (protocol number 16_199).

    • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

    • Data sharing statement PERUKI data from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, not included in the manuscript, can be available on request through the corresponding author.

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