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JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Pediatric electrical burn injuries: experience of a large tertiary care hospital and a review of electrical injury

Miguel M Glatstein, Itay Ayalon, Ehud Miller, Dennis Scolnik
Pediatric Emergency Care 2013, 29 (6): 737-40
23714758
A retrospective review of all patients admitted between February 2004 and December 2009, with a diagnosis of burns associated with electrocution, was conducted at The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Data regarding type of electrocution and associated burns were collected. Of the 36 patients identified, 31 (86%) were shocked by electrical current, and 5 (14%) by lightning. Most burns associated with current were first degree (58%). The upper limbs, most frequently the wrist and arm (n = 23), were injured in 26 patients, and the lower limb in 2 patients, whereas 3 patients suffered multiple sites of injury. Twenty-eight patients were treated conservatively with dressings and minor surgical interventions such as debridement and primary repair. The remainder required excision and/or grafting. Fasciotomy and/or escharotomy were performed in 2 patients, and no one required amputation. Burns associated with electrical injuries remain a worldwide problem, responsible for considerable morbidity and mortality. They can usually be prevented through simple safety measures. An effective prevention program would help address this problem.

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