Turkish Journal of Geriatrics 2003 , Vol 6, Issue 2
Ankara Numune Hastanesi 3. Cerrahi Kliniği, Dr., Ankara
Ankara Numune Hastanesi 3. Cerrahi Kliniği, Doç. Dr., Ankara
Ankara Numune Hastanesi Yanık Ünitesi, Dr., Ankara
Injury from burns makes up 8% of trauma in elderly. The elderly are at particular risk for burns because of impaired vision, decreased reaction time, depressed alertness, and decreased sensation of pain. Elderly burn patients suffer from greater morbidity and mortality than younger patients with similar burn area. The medical records of 54 (34 F) elderly burn patients who were treated in Ankara Numune Teaching and Research Hospital between 1998 and 2001 were retrospectively analyzed. The patient files and operation notes were examined for the parameters such as age, gender, aetiology of the burn, admission time, duration of hospital stay, area of the burn, co-morbid diseases, causes of mortality and the relationship between these parameters and mortality was then analyzed. The average age of the patients treated during this period was 70 years (60-95). 90 % of the burns were due to accidents. 33% of the cases (18 patients) were hot fluid burns, 60% (32) were burns of fire-flames and 7% (4) were electrical burns. Fifty percent of the cases admitted to the hospital on the day of event. Average burn area was 18% and average hospital stay was 18 (1-64) days. In 15 (31%) patients with fatal courses, the average burn area was 31%. The mortality rate increased significantly in patients with the burn area over 30%. The most common causes of death were acute renal failure and burn complications. When the patients were analyzed for the contribution of comorbid disease state to the mortality, the mortality rate was 34% (8/24) and this was not of statistical significance. When we analyzed the factors influencing mortality, only burn area over 30 % was found to be independent prognostic factor on mortality. As the most burns in elderly are due to home based accidents, campaigns preferably using media should focus on prevention. Keywords : Burns, elderly, mortality, aetiology, comorbid disease, burn area