Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
ROSSI, Lídia Aparecida; BARRUFFINI, Rita de Cássia de P.; GARCIA, Telma R. and CHIANCA, Tânia C. M.. Queimaduras: características dos casos tratados em um hospital escola em Ribeirão Preto (SP), Brasil. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 1998, vol.4, n.6 ISSN 1020-4989. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49891998001200007.
Burns are a significant health problem in Brazil, but there have been few data collected that could shape treatment and prevention programs. To help overcome that knowledge gap, this study looked at the types of accidents and the characteristics of 138 burn patients admitted into the burn unit of the University of São Paulo Hospital in Ribeirão Preto, state of São Paulo, Brazil, between November, 1991, and December, 1993. Patient charts were reviewed to collect data on age, sex, region of the body affected, burn depth and surface affected, agent causing the burn, and circumstances in which the burn happened. Of the 138 cases, 71% occurred in the home. In 50% of all accidents the victims were children. Boiling water was the agent responsible for 59% of the accidents among children younger than 3 years of age; fuel alcohol used in the home for cooking and other purposes caused 57% of the accidents among children between 7 and 11 years, the most affected pediatric group. Among adults, the group between 20 and 39 years of age was the most affected (23%); 84% of the victims in this age group were male. Seventeen percent of all cases involved adult males at work. Women suffered burns in accidents at home (67%) and in suicide-related events (33%). Seventy-five percent of the suicide cases were women. The strategies to reduce the incidence of burn injuries should aim at eliminating environmental risk factors and implementing educational programs disseminated through radio and television.