This paper seeks to identify which factors impact on the re-attendance rates at a paediatric outpatient service following a burn. A retrospective review of patients admitted to a single paediatric burns unit (Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh) over a 3.5 year period identified 287 cases. Scalding was the most common aetiology (60%) with the majority being superficial thickness burns and affecting mainly the upper part of the body along with the head and neck area. The mean age of patients was 2.8 years and the majority were male (62%). The mean total body surface area (TBSA) burnt was 3.15% with the mean length of stay being 3.39 days; 52.5% required surgical intervention and on average two theatre trips. The predictive factors found to positively influence the amount of re-attendance at the Plastic Dressings Clinic were: the increasing depth of burn, if excision and skin grafting had been performed, the need for pressure garment therapy, longer inpatient hospital length of stay, the number of theatre trips as well as the length of time spent in theatre. It seems that the data for patients who returned for outpatient care at other institutions was excluded and this may have biased the data, especially if these were more complex burns. Some missing data from the notes was also identified. The benefit of this paper can help in planning future service provisions especially in the face of limited resources.

Identification of factors that predict outpatient utilisation of a Plastic Dressing Clinic. A retrospective review of 287 paediatric burn cases.
Clifton LJ, Chong LW, Stewart K.

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Zeeshan Sheikh

NHS Lothian, UK

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