Every burn is a unique injury. But when analyzing burn data over an extended period of time, trends emerge.
The National Burn Repository’s 2014 report includes extensive burn statistics from the last decade. Here is what the burn data shows.
- Men and adults in general are more likely to suffer a burn than other demographic groups. Nearly 69 percent of individuals who suffered a burn were men, according to the report. The most common age ranges for any gender were victims in their 20s, 40s and 30s. Children ages five and younger accounted for 19 percent of burn cases, while individuals 60 and older made up 13 percent of burn victims.
- Most burns were small. Seventy-four percent of recorded burns covered 10 percent or less of the victim’s total body surface area (TBSA). Predictably, smaller burns are also less life threatening, with victim mortality rate at only .6 percent.
- Fires and scalds are the most common burns. Accounting for nearly 80 percent of all burns, fires (43 percent) and scalds (34 percent) were the most common causes of burns. Contact with hot objects (9 percent), electrical injuries (4 percent) and chemical injuries (3 percent) round out the top five.
- Inhalation injuries factor heavily into burn mortality rates. Inhalation injuries happen when smoke, carbon monoxide or another dangerous chemical is breathed in. Burn victims under age 60 with burns encompassing 20 percent or less TBSA were 16 times more likely to die if they had suffered an inhalation injury.
- Burns happen to people of all races. Caucasians accounted for almost 59 percent of documented burn cases, while African-Americans accounted for almost 20 percent and Hispanics 14 percent. The age ranges for minority burn victims were similar to whites, though minority children had a far higher incidence of being burned at age one.
- Mortality rate increases as TBSA increases. Victims with burns that encompass 70 percent or more of their TBSA have a 55 percent chance of dying from their wounds, and the percentage increases as TBSA does. Overall, the burn mortality rate was 3.3 percent for all cases.