Burn Incidence and Treatment in the United States: 2011 Fact Sheet

Information provided by the American Burn Association

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 (nearest 50,000)
This general estimate is derived mainly from federal surveys which provide annual estimates of visits to hospital emergency departments. The estimate is rounded upward slightly to include burn patients who may have been treated only at hospital outpatient clinics, free-standing urgent care centers or private physician offices. Their sample sizes are too small to provide separate national estimates for burns.
Sources: National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS); National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMC); National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Project (NEISS-AIP)(2008 data).

Fire and Burn Deaths Per Year: 3,500 (nearest 250)
This total includes an estimated 3,000 deaths from residential fires and 500 from other sources, including motor vehicle and aircraft crashes, and contact with electricity, chemicals or hot liquids and substances. About 75% of these deaths occur at the scene or during initial transport. Fire and burn deaths are combined because deaths from burns in fires cannot always be distinguished from deaths from smoke poisoning. Sources: National Fire Protection Association (2008); American Burn Association National Burn Repository (2010 report: 2000-2009 admissions); US Vital Statistics (2007).

Hospitalizations for Burn Injury: 45,000, including 25,000 at hospitals with burn centers (nearest 5,000)
About 55% of the estimated 45,000 U.S. acute hospitalizations for burn injury in recent years were admitted to 125 hospitals with specialized facilities for burn care (“burn centers”). The percentage admitted to burn centers has increased steadily in recent decades, with growing recognition of the special needs of burn patients and continuing advances in the technical resources and skills of those who refer, transport and treat them. Burn centers now average 200 annual admissions, while the other 4,700 U.S. acute care hospitals average less than 3. Sources: National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS); Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project-National Inpatient Sample (HCUP-NIS (200)); recent 100% hospitalization data sets from several states..

Selected Statistics on Admissions to Burn Centers, 2000-2009
Survival Rate: 94.8%
Gender: 70% male, 30% female
Ethnicity: 63% Caucasian, 17% African-American, 14% Hispanic, 6% Other
Admission Cause: 42% fire/flame, 31% scald, 9% contact, 4% electrical, 3% chemical, 11% other
Place of Occurrence: 66% home, 10% occupational, 8% street/highway, 16% other

Source: American Burn Association National Burn Repository (2010 report)