ELECTRICAL BURNS: A RETROSPECTIVE ANALYSIS OVER A 10-YEAR PERIOD Objectives: Electrical burns are still a major problem in our society. Although its incidence is rather low, it is considered one of the most devastating injuries. In this retrospective study, we reviewed the medical records of patients admitted to our Burn Unit during a 10-year period. The aim of this study is to analyze specific aspects of electrical injuries and to delineate a prevention strategy. Methods: A retrospective analysis of medical records of all the patients admitted to our Unit with electrical burns, during a 10 year period (2006/01/01 – 2015/12/31) was undertaken. Demographic data, mechanism of injury and electric current voltage, total burn surface area (TBSA), location and depth of burns, acute complications, surgical interventions and length of hospital stay (LOS) were analyzed. Results: During the study period, out of 1695 burn patients admitted to our Unit, 99 subjects (5.84%) suffered electrical burns. 97% of these patients were male. The mean age was 38.313.7years and the mean TBSA was 11.9%13.2%. The mechanism of injury was occupational in 75 cases. Injuries were classified as low-voltage burns (24.2%), high-voltage burns (30.3%) and flash burns (45.5%). TBSA (p=0.014), mean LOS (p=0.002) and serum creatinine kinase levels (p<0.001) were significantly higher in patients with high-voltage injury in comparison to low-voltage injury, as well as the incidence of escharotomy/ fasciotomy (p=0.049) and flap surgeries (p=0.004). Although there was a higher incidence of amputations in this group (16.7% vs 12.5%), the difference was not statistically significant (p=0.487). Discussion/ Conclusion: The high prevalence of electrical burn in males and workers emphasizes the need to review occupational safety regulations. Educational efforts regarding potential hazards of electricity and reinforcing compliance with safety measures are essential for avoiding these injuries.
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