American Surgical Association

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Work Related Burn Injury in 2067 Patients from 1994-2008: Impact and Consequence In A High Volume Burn Center
Bruce A. Cairns, Catherine Calvert*, Lori Chrisco*, Felicia N. Williams*, Rabia Nizamani*, Samuel W. Jones*, Anthony A. Meyer, Melina R. Kibbe, Marco G. Patti
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

OBJECTIVES: Compared to other surgical disciplines, burn surgeons have a unique role in being the primary resource in assisting patients return to duty after a work related (WR) burn injury. In addition to providing acute care, burn surgeons determine when and what kind of work a given patient can do while working with insurance adjusters and employers in order to support these complex patients. This 14 year single burn center experience with work-related (WR) burn injury is the largest ever reported.
METHODS: With IRB approval, charts from 1994- June 2018 were reviewed from a single center. Data compared using Studentís t-test where appropriate, with significance defined p<0.05.
RESULTS: During a 14 year study period, 14,285 patients (avg: 1020 pts/yr) were evaluated; of these 2067 were WR (14%) and 1595 (77%) of these had WR related insurance. Interestingly, with similar average burn size to non-WR injury, average expenses for WR injury were less than N-WR injury (p<001) even when restricted to the majority working age (20-59 yr) patients (table).
CONCLUSIONS: In a large volume burn center, WR injuries consistently represent 14% of inpatient admissions. Despite additional requirements for follow-up and work integration, average hospital expenses for WR injury are lower than for N-WR injury. Expertise in managing WR burn injury is a unique, essential and cost-effective role for burn surgeons.

* By Invitation


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