Referral Patterns in Pediatric Burn Patients

September 2014
American Surgeon;Sep2014, Vol. 80 Issue 9, p836
Academic Journal
Though multiple studies have demonstrated superior outcomes amongst adult burn patients at verified burn centers (VBCs) relative to nondedicated bum centers (NBCs), roughly half of such patients meeting American Burn Association (ABA) referral guidelines are not sent to these centers. We sought examine referral patterns amongst pediatric burn patients. Retrospective review of a statewide patient database identified pediatric burn patients from 2000 to 2007 using International Classification of Disease (ICD-9) discharge codes. These injuries were crossreferenced with ABA referral criteria to determine compliance with the ABA guidelines. 1831 children sustained burns requiring hospitalization during the study period, of which 1274 (70%) met ABA referral criteria. Of 557 treated at NBCs, 306 (55%) met criteria for transfer. Neither age, gender, nor payer status demonstrated significant association with treatment center. VBCs treated more severely injured patients, but there was no difference in survival or rate of discharge home from NBCs versus VBCs. Studies to evaluate differences in functional outcomes between pediatric burn patients treated at VBCs versus NBCs would be beneficial to ensure optimization of outcomes in this population.


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