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An autopsy study of fatal burn injuries in Dhaka Medical College


Chowdhury MIB1, Begum RA2, Nowshin I3, Rahman MS4, Rikabder MMR5, Jahan K5


Introduction: Burn deaths are an important public health problem in a developing country like Bangladesh. It is a considerable cause of death in Bangladesh. Females, rural dwellers and populations of low socioeconomic condition are more vulnerable to burn injury. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to record and evaluate the causes and the magnitude of the fatal burn injuries retrospectively. Methods: This retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted among the burn death victims at Dhaka Medical College, Dhaka Morgue, during the period of February 2019 – January 2020. Result: An analysis of autopsy records revealed 436 (10.92%) cases of burn injuries among the total 3993 autopsies done over 1-year period (February 2019 – January 2020) in the mortuary of Dhaka medical College. Among the total burn cases the flame burns were seen in 76.83% of the victims, out of these fires was the commonest cause (71.79%). The majority of deaths (22.02%) occurred between 31 and 40 years of age group with a preponderance of males (66.97%), male female ratio being 2.03:1. Most of the victims died from neurogenic shock (54.82%) followed by septicemia (23.39%). The majority of deaths occurred within a week (81.88%) and the percentages of burns (TBSA) over 50% were observed in most of the cases (83.03%). Accidental death was the most common manner of burn death accounting for 357 (81.88%) and the commonest location for burn deaths was home locations 283 (64.91%). Highest incidence of burn occurred in winter 183 (41.97%) regarding variations in burn injury with time of day, the incidence is high in night 235 (53.9%), day night ratio being 1:1.2. Conclusion: The results of this study provide the necessary information to address it as a public health problem and develop proper burn prevention programs, thereby reducing the frequency of burns and burn-related deaths.

Key words: Burn deaths, Flame burns, Neurogenic shock, Septicemia, TBSA

Issue: Vol. 6 No. 2 (2020)

Publish Date: Jun 07, 2022