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Chemical burns; 17-year epidemiological study and evolution in Bilbao, Spain

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CHEMICAL BURNS; 17-YEAR EPIDEMIOLOGICAL STUDY AND HISTORICAL EVOLUTION IN BILBAO, SPAIN. Cabañas Weisz, L.M; Martín Playa, P; Manero Aramburu A.A; Ayestarán Soto, J.B; Caramés Estefanía, J; García Gutiérrez, J.J. OBJECTIVS: Chemical burns accidents have decreased in our area during the last years. Our aim with this study is to show the decreasing tendency of chemical burns and to analyze the distinctive features of this type of burns compared with all burns admitted to Burn Unit at Cruces University Hospital (Bilbao). METHODS: 17-year retrospective study including all the patients with chemical burns admitted to our Burn Unit (group A). Epidemiological and demographic data were collected and compared with all burnt patients treated at the same unit (group B). RESULTS: A total of 35 patients were included in group A in the study. During 2000-2007 25 patients were admitted and 10 during 2008-2016. Sodium hydroxide was the most frequent agent involved (25.71%), followed by sulfuric acid (20%). 17.14% associated some kind of flame. The most injured parts of the body were upper extremities (71.43%) and face (68.57%). Comparing the two samples, 88.57% of group A were labor accidents while in group B involved 29.3%. The mean age in group A was 42.1 years, and 51.6 in group B. In group A, 94.29% were men and 73.30% in group B. A mean of 18.01% of total body surface (TBSA) was burnt, in group B was 21.6%. The mean stay at the Burn Unit was 18.51 days for group A and 20.27 for group B. ABSI score was 5.86 for group A, and 7.28 for group B. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSSION: We have observed that most of chemical burn accidents involved male younger patients at work, with smaller ABSI and less TBSA than burnt patients globally. We have also seen a decreasing rate of chemical burns these years probably due to appropriate equipment, employee awareness and regulation laws. Furthermore, the socio-demographic change for a less industrial area has been a decisive factor for the drop of chemical burns.

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