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The incidence of medically attended paediatric burns across the UK

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Katie Davies
  • Emma Johnson
  • Linda Hollen
  • Hywel Jones
  • Mark Lyttle
  • Sabine Maguire
  • Alison Kemp
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalInjury Prevention
Early online date21 Feb 2019
DateAccepted/In press - 8 Nov 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 21 Feb 2019


Objective: Childhood burns represent a burden on health services, yet the full extent of the problem is difficult to quantify. We estimated the annual UK incidence from: Primary Care (PC), Emergency Attendances (EA), Hospital Admissions (HA) and deaths.
Methods: The population was children (0-15 years), across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (NI), with medically attended burns (2013-2015). Routinely collected data sources included: PC attendances from Clinical Practice Research Datalink (2013-2015), EA from Paediatric Emergency Research in the United Kingdom and Ireland (PERUKI, 2014), and National Health Services Wales Informatics Services, HA from Hospital Episode Statistics, National Services Scotland and Social Services and Public Safety (2014), mortality from Office for National Statistics, National Records of Scotland and NI Statistics and Research Agency (2013-2015). The population denominators were based on Office for National Statistics mid-year population estimate.

Results: The annual PC burns attendance was 16.1/10 000 persons at risk (95% CI 15.6-16.6); EAs were 35.1/10 000 persons at risk (95% CI 34.7-35.5) in England and 28.9 (95% CI 27.5-30.3) in Wales. HA ranged from 6.0/10 000 person at risk (95% CI 5.9-6.2) in England, to 3.1 in Wales and Scotland (95% CI 2.7-3.8 and 2.7-3.5 respectively) and 2.8 (95% CI 2.4-3.4) in NI. In England, Wales and Scotland, 75% of HA were aged <5 years. Mortality was low with 0.1/1 000 000 persons at risk (95% CI 0.06-0.2).

Conclusions: With an estimated 19 574 PC attendances, 37 703 EAs (England and Wales only), 6639 HAs, and 1-6 childhood deaths annually, there is an urgent need to improve UK childhood burns prevention.

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