A Review of Petrol Burns in Australia and New Zealand

Nicholas Savage, Zakary Doherty, Yvonne Singer, Hana Menezes, Heather Cleland, Stephen J. Goldie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Petrol-related thermal burns cause significant morbidity and mortality worldwide and it has been established that they affect young males disproportionately. Beyond this, we sought to identify the difference in the characteristics and outcomes of burns between males and females in an international population. Such differences may highlight areas for future preventative strategies. The Burns Registry of Australia and New Zealand was used. Petrol burns that resulted in a hospital admission in those 16 years or older between January 2010 and December 2019 were included. A total of 2833 patients were included. The median age was 35 years with most patients being male (88%). Burns from a campfire or burnoffs were most common. Females were more likely to suffer burns due to assault or from deliberate self-harm. The total body surface area affected by burns was higher for females than males (10% vs 8%). Furthermore, females more frequently required ICU admission, escharotomies, and had a longer hospital length of stay. The unadjusted mortality rate for females was more than double the rate for males (5.8% vs 2.3%). This international study demonstrates that whilst men more frequently suffer petrol burns, women suffer more severe burns, require more intensive and longer hospitalizations and have a higher mortality rate. These findings may inform changes in preventative health policies globally to mitigate against these concerning findings.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 30 Jan 2023

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