FREQUENCY AND PATTERN OF ELECTRIC CURRENT INJURY IN CHILDREN
Aims and objectives: To analyze the data regarding etiological and predisposing factors in pediatric burns and make conclusion for prevention of pediatric burns.
Study design: Retrospective hospital based observational study.
Setting: Department of Pediatric Surgery King Edward Medical University/ Mayo Hospital Lahore.
Duration of study: From June 2017 to June 2018.
Methodology: Children with electric current injuries were admitted in Pediatric surgery department King Edward Medical University/ Mayo Hospital Lahore. As it was a retrospective study so the main source of information was the hospital admission files. A detailed research proforma was made having all variables and data was collected. Data regarding total number of patients, age, gender, mechanism of burn injury, operating findings, treatment and outcome were noted and statistical analysis was done by using SPSS version 20.
Results: One hundred and thirty (n=130) patients with burn injuries caused by electric current in age ranging from 2 to 12 years were treated during one year period. There were 72(55%) males and 58(45%) females. Areas involved were mainly the limbs and face. High voltage electric current was responsible for 90(69%) burn cases and low voltage in 40(31%) cases. Electric current injury caused by direct contact occurred in 100(77%) cases whereas electric flash burn was responsible in 30(23%) cases. Fasciotomy was performed in 78(60%) cases amputations at different levels in 24(18%) and disarticulations of shoulder joint were performed in 6(4.5%) cases. Split thickness skin grafting was done in 80(61.5%) cases whereas 12(9%) cases having minor injury were treated conservatively. 92(71%) cases were discharged home, 23 (17.5%) cases expired and in 15(11.5%) cases parents refused for treatment.
Conclusion: Burns are caused by human errors and are therefore preventable. Disability due to severe burn adversely affects the life of a growing child and is a huge social issue. Public awareness through print and electronic media as well as education at school level is to be stressed in order to prevent electric current burn injury resulting in high morbidity and mortality. There is a need to establish more state of the art pediatric burn units according to population consensus in our country.
Keywords: electric current, burn injuries, predisposing factors, etiology, management, epidemiology, outcome.