Epidemiological analysis of pediatric burns in the Dominican Republic reveals a demographic profile at significant risk for electrical burns. Academic Article uri icon


  • Pediatric burns are preventable with legislative and infrastructural changes. Although retrospective audits of many low- and middle-income countries have aided preventative efforts, the epidemiological status of burns in the Caribbean is not known. This study characterizes pediatric burns in the Dominican Republic (DR) and compares these to age-matched North American records captured by the National Burn Repository.A retrospective audit of 1600 patients admitted to the Unidad de Niños Quemados Dra. Thelma Rosario Hospital, the island's only major pediatric burn center, between January 2010 to March 2017 was performed. Epidemiological variables analyzed included age, gender, burn mechanism, year, month, city, admission duration, nationality, mortality, and %TBSA.Pediatric burn patients in the DR sustained larger burns (8.2% vs. 6.5% TBSA) and spent more days in the hospital (10 vs. 6 days). Females were overrepresented (M:F=1:1.5) and mortality amongst admitted patients was 4-fold higher (2.8% vs. 0.7%). Electrical burns were significantly overrepresented in DR (21%) compared to age-matched North American patients (2%). Although electrical burns were smaller (4% TBSA), compared to scald (14% TBSA), and flame (19% TBSA), these burns preferred hands and had a high mortality rate (3%). No significant seasonality in burn mechanisms were observed. Finally, we report geographical and age group differences in the distribution of burn mechanisms and highlight particularly vulnerable subpopulations.This investigation identifies a demographical profile where electrical burns account for a significant percentage of the burn population. This provides a basis for concentrating preventative efforts in vulnerable populations.Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd and ISBI. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • March 2019