Study: children with serious burn injuries at risk

Whether it’s caused by a house or apartment fire, a defective product or some other tragic accident, burn injuries can be devastating to children.

In fact, a recent medical study shows that children who suffer serious burn injuries face a high risk of severe complications or even death. The study referred to children that had burns impacting 60 percent or more of their body’s total surface.

The research was conducted at several facilities in the United States and Canada and was recently published online by a British medical journal called The Lancet. The authors urged medical personnel to exercise much more vigilance and provide better therapy to preserve the health and lives of children with serious burn injuries.

The study was conducted over a 10-year period ending in 2008 and followed the progress of 952 burn victims between the ages of 6 and 10. Included in the study were some children with burns covering between 90 to 100 percent of their body’s surface, and others with burn injuries covering between 30 to 39 percent of their bodies.

Thirteen percent of the children in the study, 123 children out of 952, unfortunately did not survive their injuries. More than half of these children had burns covering 90 to 100 percent of their bodies, while children with burns covering 30 to 39 percent group accounting for only 5 percent of the deaths.

Researchers concluded that once the area of burns reaches 62 percent or above, children have a death rate more than 10 times that of those whose burns were less severe.

Researchers said that that having burns on over 60 percent of a child’s body represents a “crucial threshold” for massive complications and risk of death, requiring that those patients be immediately sent to specialized facilities best equipped to aggressively treat such burns.

Source: Medical News Today, “Children With Severe Burn Injuries Are At A Much Higher Risk Of Health Complications And Death,” Jan. 31, 2012