Epidemiology of a decade of Pediatric fatal burns in Colombia, South America

Maria Cristina Del Rosario Aldana, Norberto Navarrete

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background Burns represent a serious problem around the world especially in low- and middle-income countries. The aim was to determine the epidemiological characteristics, causes and mortality rate of burn deaths in the Colombian pediatric population as well as to guide future education and prevention programs. Methods We conducted an observational, analytical, retrospective population-based study. It was based upon official death certificate data using diagnosis codes for burns (scalds, thermal, electrical, intentional self-harm and not specified), that occurred between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2009. Official death certificates of the pediatric population of up to 15 years of age were obtained from the National Administrative Department of Statistics. Results A total of 1197 fatal pediatric injuries related to burns were identified. The crude and adjusted mortality rate for burns in the pediatric population in Colombia during the length of the study was 0.899 and 0.912 per 100,000, respectively. The mortality rate tended to decrease (-5.17% annual) during the duration of the study. Children under 5 years of age were the most affected group (59.5%). Almost half of them died before arriving at a health facility (47.1%). Fire is the principal cause of death attributable to burns in Colombia, followed by electric burns and hot liquids. Conclusions This is a first step study in researching the epidemiological features of pediatric deaths after burns. The Public Health's strategies should be oriented toward community awareness about these kind of injuries, and to teach children and families about risk factors and first aid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1587-1592
Number of pages6
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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