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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


GAWRYSZEWSKI, Vilma Pinheiro et al. Public hospital emergency department visits due to burns in Brazil, 2009. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2012, vol.28, n.4, pp.629-640. ISSN 1678-4464.

The objective was to analyze the characteristics of burn injuries treated in emergency departments (ED) and associated factors. This was a cross-sectional study of 761 ED visits collected through the National Injury Surveillance System in 2009. The majority of patients were males (58.6%), and the most prevalent age brackets were 30-49 years (23.1%) and 0-4 years (23%). Most burns occurred at home (62.1%), especially among females and children, and in commerce/services/industry/construction (19.1%), mainly among males 20-49 years. Work-related burns comprised 29.1% of the overall sample. Alcohol use prior to the injury was reported in 5.1% of cases. Causal agents across all age brackets were: contact with hot substances (43.6%) and exposure to fire and flames (24.2%); among the economically productive age groups, association with chemicals substances was common. Burns in children 0-14 years were associated with injuries at home, contact with heat and hot substances, and subsequent hospitalization; burns in the 15-49-year bracket were associated with exposure to fire/flames and electrical current, injuries occurring in public places, and outpatient treatment and discharge. The study highlights the importance of burn prevention strategies targeting children and workers.

Keywords : Burns; Emergency Medical Services; External Causes.

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