Predictors of mortality of pediatric burn injury in the Douala General Hospital, Cameroon

23 Jan 2020

INTRODUCTION : Burn injuries are a major cause of hospitalization and are associated with significant morbidity and mortality, particularly in children aged four years or below. In Cameroon, the mortality rate of pediatric severe burns was estimated at 41.2%. There is need to determine the predictors of such mortality in order to guide appropriate management. METHODS : This study is aimed at assessing the predictors of mortality of pediatric patients who sustained a burn injury over a period of 11 years (between 1st of January 2006 and 31st of December 2016) in Douala General Hospital (DGH). The data for this study was entered in an electronic questionnaire and analyzed using Epi info version 7. All variables thought to be associated with mortality were entered in a multiple binary logistic regression model. The magnitude or risk was measured by odds ratio, and the 95% confidence interval was estimated. RESULTS : A total of 125 cases of pediatric burns were recorded over the study period. A total of 69 (55.65%) were males, giving a male to female ratio of 1.25:1. The median age was 4 years. Most pediatric burns resulted from accidents . Most patient 78 (69%) came before 8 hours following injury. Scalding was the predominant mechanism of injury in 56 (45.5%) of patients. Most patients had partial thickness burn and most burns involved 1-9.9% body surface areas (BSA). The mean length of hospital stay in this study was 7 days, more than half of the patients had no complications during admission. Among those that developed complications, 19 (35%) developed sepsis. CONCLUSION : Mortality rate of pediatric burns obtained in this study was 29%, mostly due to cardiac arrest. Flame burns (p=0.03) and BSA >25% (p=0.001) were statistically significant predictors of mortality.