The impact of COVID-19 on clinical outcomes of burn patients

Elliot Walters, Alen Palackic, Camila Franco-Mesa, Nikhil R. Shah, Michael J. Erickson, Steven E. Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Multiple studies have shown the SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19) to be associated with deleterious outcomes in a wide range of patients. The impact of COVID-19 has not been well investigated among burned patients. We suspect that patients will have worsened respiratory and thrombotic complications, ultimately leading to increased mortality. The objective of this study is to determine the impact a concurrent infection of COVID-19 has on clinical outcomes after a burn injury. Methods: This is a retrospective, propensity matched, cohort study. We examined a de-identified database of electronic medical records of over 75 million patients across 75 health care associations in the United States for patients treated for thermal burns from 1 January 2020, to 31 July 2021, and those who also were diagnosed with COVID-19 infection within one day before or after injury based on International Classification of Disease, tenth revision (ICD-10) codes. Study participants included adults who were treated for a burn injury during the study period. Results: We included 736 patients with burn injury and concomitant COVID-19 infection matched to 736 patients with burn injury and no concurrent COVID-19 infection (total 1472 patients, mean age 36.3 ± 24.3). We found no significant increase in mortality observed for patients with concurrent COVID-19 (OR 1.203, 95% CI 0.517–2.803; p = 0.6675). We did observe significant increase in infections (OR 3.537, 95% CI 2.798–4.471; p = 0.0001), thrombotic complications (OR 2.342, 95% CI 1.351–4.058; p = 0.0018), as was the incidence of hypertrophic scarring (OR 3.368, 95% CI 2.326–4.877; p = 0.0001). Conclusions: We observed that concurrent COVID-19 infection was associated with an increase in infections, thrombosis and hypertrophic scarring but no increase in mortality in our cohort of burn patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbertkad042
JournalBurns and Trauma
StatePublished - Dec 5 2023


  • burn
  • COVID-19
  • infection
  • mortality
  • scarring
  • thrombosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Dermatology
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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