The authors share their results looking at a retrospective review of burns in patients over the age of 90 in a 15-year period from 1998 to 2013 from a single regional burns centre (Pinderfields Hospital, UK). Twenty-two patients were identified having a mean age of 94 with the majority (15) being women. The mean total body surface area (TBSA) burnt was 9% with a range of 1-43%. The distribution of burn aetiologies was most commonly due to flame burns followed by scalds and finally contact burns. All injuries occurred in the patients’ home environment with the majority not having any first aid at the scene. Six patients died and 16 survived during their inpatient stay; both groups having a similar mean age. Those that died tended to have higher TBSA (19% BSA compared to 5% BSA in the survivors). The mean length of stay was 30 days equating to eight days per percent burn. The majority were discharged back to their own homes with only a requiring transfer to a care of the elderly ward or a rehabilitation unit for ongoing care. Seven cases were found to have full thickness burns, all of which underwent debridement and split skin grafting. The remaining cases had partial thickness burns and were treated conservatively. As can be seen from this study, burns in the very elderly seems to be relatively infrequent, however, with the population living longer, this may become more common in time. This subgroup face particular challenges which need to be specifically catered for and therefore may require increased resources. This study is limited due to a small cohort and so a multicentre approach may help reveal further trends.

Burns in patients over 90: A fifteen-year series from a regional burns centre.
Shariff Z, Rodrigues JN, Anwar U, et al.
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Zeeshan Sheikh

NHS Lothian, UK

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