Pediatric Oral Electrical Burns: Incidence of Emergency Department Visits in the United States, 1997-2012
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the epidemiology of emergency department visits for pediatric patients presenting with electrical burns to the mouth.
STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional analysis of a national database.
SETTING: National Electronic Injury Surveillance System Database.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: The Consumer Product Safety Commission's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database was used to derive a national weighted estimate of emergency department visits for oral electrical burns and was queried for each patient's age, sex, race, local of incidence, disposition, and related consumer product.
RESULTS: There were an estimated 1042 emergency department visits for pediatric oral electrical burns from 1997 to 2012, or an average of approximately 65.1 cases per year. A total of 59.6% of patients were male. Nearly half of emergency department visits involved patients <3 years of age, and more than three-fourths of emergency department visits involved patients <5 years of age. A total of 77.2% of patients were examined, treated, and released from the emergency department, while 19.2% were admitted to the hospital. Most injuries involved electrical outlets or receptacles (10.8%), extension cords (18.5%), and electrical wires (21.5%).
CONCLUSION: Earlier incidence estimates of pediatric oral electrical burns varied substantially within the literature and varied from small case reports to single-year studies. Our multiyear data analysis provides evidence of decreasing annual incidence when compared with historical estimates for a common but potentially morbid injury among the pediatric population.