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Burn Incidence and Treatment in the United States: 2013 Fact Sheet

The following annual estimates have been derived from statistics provided by the U.S. Vital Statistics, several ongoing national surveys, selected states and the National Burn Repository of the American Burn Association. Repository reports describe admissions to hospitals with specialized services provided by "burn centers."   

Burn Injuries Receiving Medical Treatment: 450,000

This general estimate is derived mainly from federal surveys which provide annual estimates of hospital admissions and visits to hospital emergency departments. The estimate range acknowledges that some burns may have been treated solely at hospital clinics, community health centers, or private medical offices.  Such burns are more likely to be minor, and the number of such facilities sampled is too small to provide reliable estimates for burns.

Sources: National Electric Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Project (NEISS-AIP); National Emegency Department Survey (HCUP-NEDS) (2010 Data); National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey.
 
Fire/Burn/Smoke Inhalation Deaths Per Year: 3,400

This total includes 2,550 deaths from residential fires, 300 from vehicle crash fires, and 550 from other sources (approximately 150 deaths from flame burns or smoke inhalation in non-residential fires, 400 from contact with electricity, scalding liquids or hot objects).  Fire and burn deaths are combined because deaths from burns in fires cannot always be distinguished from deaths from toxic smoke or other non-burn causes.

Sources: National Fire Protection Association (2011 Fire Loss Report); National Safety Council (2012 Injury Facts, based on 2008 data, the latest available from the National Vital Statistics System).        

Hospitalizations Related to Burn Injury: 40,000, including 30,000 at hospital burn centers

Over 60% of the estimated U.S. acute hospitalizations related to burn injury were admitted to 127 burn centers. Such centers now average over 200 annual admissions for burn injury and skin disorders requiring similar treatment. The other 4,500 U.S. acute care hospitals average less than 3 burn admissions per year.

Sources: National Inpatient Sample (HCUP-NIS: 2010 data); National Hospital Discharge Survey (2010 data); recent 100% hospitalization data from several states.

Selected Statistics: 2003-2012 Burn Admissions to Burn Centers

Survival Rate: 
96.6% 
Gender:  69% male, 31% female
Ethnicity:  59% Caucasian, 20% African-American, 14% Hispanic, 7% Other
Admission Cause:  43% fire/flame, 34% scald, 9% contact, 4% electrical, 3% chemical, 7% other
Place of Occurrence:  72% home, 9% occupational, 5% street/highway, 5% Recreational/Sport,
9% Other

Source: American Burn Association National Burn Repository (2013 report)