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The Bradford Burn Study: the epidemiology of burns presenting to an inner city emergency department
  1. A A Khan1,
  2. J Rawlins2,
  3. A F Shenton1,
  4. D T Sharpe2
  1. 1Accident & Emergency Department, Bradford Royal Infirmary, Bradford, UK
  2. 2Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit, University of Bradford, Bradford, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Arshid Khan
 Accident & Emergency Department, Bradford Royal Infirmary, Duckworth Lane, Bradford, BD9 6 RJ, UK; arshidkhan{at}


Objective: The Bradford Burn Study prospectively reviewed all burn attendances at a single emergency department in the UK over a 1 year period. The study reviewed the epidemiology, demographics and outcomes of all patients entered into the study.

Design and setting: A 12 month prospective study of burn injuries attending an inner city emergency department serving a population of 1 million people.

Results: 460 patients were enrolled into the study. Average patient age was 22.7 years, male: female ratio was 1:1.4, and children <10 years of age accounted for 36% of the case mix. Asian patients accounted for 41% of all attendances; 85% of the cases in the study were accidental in nature, with scalds accounting for 52% of the injuries. Final outcomes were as follows: 54% of patients were reviewed by the emergency department physicians and only one of these patients ultimately needed skin grafting; 19% had follow-up by their primary care physicians; 12% were reviewed by plastic surgeons, and 5% were admitted; of those patients admitted, 16% needed surgery; only 12 patients (3%) were admitted to specialised burn units.

Conclusions: Emergency departments manage patients with burns well, and referrals to plastic surgery departments are appropriate. The majority of burns can be prevented by addressing educational issues and vulnerable sections of the population.

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  • Competing interests: None declared

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