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Journal of Burn Care and Research ; 42(SUPPL 1):S149, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1288071


Introduction: Globally, medical centers have faced unprecedented times with the onset of the Novel Coronavirus pandemic. Emergency departments (ED) and burn units have had to adapt to uncertainty and new challenges. At our institution, we had to alter our daily burn practice, physically moving our burn unit to our surgical intensive care unit to accommodate staff cohorting. While some hospitals have seen patient surges, most have endured dramatic decreases in productivity. A UK burn unit documented lower ED presentations and reduced referrals from other centers, with 50% fewer patients admitted to their burns ward (Farroha). In Israel, a 66% decrease in adult burn patients was noted (Kruchevska et al.). We sought to identify the impact of COVID-19 on burn injury epidemiology in our burn unit based in a large, urban, academic medical center. Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of our burn database for ED visits and admissions related to burn injuries between March 1st and June 30th in the years 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. We looked at the age and sex of patient, type of visit, length of stay (LOS), the mechanism of injury, the setting in which injury occurred, and the details of the injury. We compare annual trends, with emphasis on comparison of 2020 to previous years. Results: From admissions and ED data records, 215 patient encounters were reviewed. We saw a yearly rise in total burn patients seen in the ED or admitted to our burn unit 2017-2020 (39, 43, 63, and 70 respectively) with the highest volume of patients in 2020. Mean patient age ranged from 45 (2020) to 51 (2017). More males were burned in all years (male:female ratio 3.9 in 2017, 2.1 in 2018, 2.5 in 2019, 1.9 in 2020). Median LOS in 2020 was 2.5 days, consistent with 2017-2019 values (2, 3, 3, respectively). Between 2017 and 2019, 10%, 2%, and 8% respectively of patients evaluated were treated on an outpatient basis, while in 2020, 20% were outpatient. Rates of flash, scald, flame, chemical, electrical, and contact burns were stable over the period. Of those patients who were admitted, 1.8% sustained workrelated burns in 2020 versus 8.9% over 2017-2019. In 2020, 23% of burns were cooking related versus 18% over the prior 3 years. Conclusions: Despite documented decreased burn admissions in some units, our unit saw an increase in burn injuries presenting for evaluation in the first 3 months of the COVID-19 pandemic as compared to the analogous period in the three years prior. Burns were less often tied to workrelated incidents and more frequently related to cooking injuries. Even with more patients treated and released from the ED, inpatient admission numbers were maintained. These findings support the importance of protecting our staffing and burn unit resources in a pandemic setting in order to appropriately treat regional patients and an increase in home-based injuries.