Epidemiology and outcomes of pediatric burns over 35 years at Parkland Hospital

Melody R. Saeman, Erica I. Hodgman, Agnes Burris, Steven E. Wolf, Brett D. Arnoldo, Karen J. Kowalske, Herb A. Phelan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Background Since opening its doors in 1962, the Parkland Burn Center has played an important role in improving the care of burned children through basic and clinical research while also sponsoring community prevention programs. The aim of our study was to retrospectively analyze the characteristics and outcomes of pediatric burns at a single institution over 35 years. Study design The institutional burn database, which contains data from January 1974 until August 2010, was retrospectively reviewed. Patients older than 18 years of age were excluded. Patient age, cause of burn, total body surface area (TBSA), depth of burn, and patient outcomes were collected. Demographics were compared with regional census data. Results Over 35 years, 5748 pediatric patients were admitted with a thermal injury. Males comprised roughly two-thirds (66.2%) of admissions. Although the annual admission rate has risen, the incidence of pediatric burn admissions, particularly among Hispanic and African American children has declined. The most common causes of admission were scald (42%), flame (29%), and contact burns (10%). Both the median length of hospitalization and burn size have decreased over time (r2 = 0.75 and 0.62, respectively). Mortality was significantly correlated with inhalation injury, size of burn, and history of abuse. It was negatively correlated with year of admission. Conclusions Over 35 years in North Texas, the median burn size and incidence of pediatric burn admissions has decreased. Concomitantly, length of stay and mortality have also decreased.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-208
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Burn
  • Epidemiology
  • Length of stay
  • Mortality
  • Pediatric
  • Total body surface area burn

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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