Prognostic scoring systems in burns: A review

N. N. Sheppard, S. Hemington-Gorse, O. P. Shelley, B. Philp, P. Dziewulski

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


Survival after burn has steadily improved over the last few decades. Patient mortality is, however, still the primary outcome measure for burn care. Scoring systems aim to use the most predictive premorbid and injury factors to yield an expected likelihood of death for a given patient. Age, burn surface area and inhalational injury remain the mainstays of burn prognostication, but their relative weighting varies between scoring systems. Biochemical markers may hold the key to predicting outcomes in burns. Alternatively, the incorporation of global scales such as those used in the general intensive care unit may have relevance in burn patients. Outcomes other than mortality are increasingly relevant, especially as mortality after burns continues to improve. The evolution of prognostic scoring in burns is reviewed with specific reference to the more widely regarded measures. Alternative approaches to burn prognostication are reviewed along with evidence for the use of outcomes other than mortality. The purpose and utility of prognostic scoring in general is discussed with relevance to its potential uses in audit, research and at the bedside.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1288-1295
Number of pages8
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Burns
  • Mortality
  • Prognosis
  • Scoring system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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