Transfer time to a specialist burn service and influence on burn mortality in Australia and New Zealand: a multi-centre, hospital based retrospective cohort study

T John Cassidy, Dale Wesley Edgar, Michael R Phillips, Peter Cameron, Heather J Cleland, Fiona Melanie Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Background In Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), health care is provided for 26 million people dispersed across the eight million square kilometres of the two countries. Providing optimal care prior to and during transfer across such vast distances is challenging. Lengthening the time taken to definitive burn care has a negative impact on burn outcome. The aims of this study were to determine if transfer time and admission pathway influenced burn mortality and to identify the factors predicting burn mortality in ANZ. Method The study included all adult burn patient admission data from 15 of 17 burn services submitted to the Australian and New Zealand Burn Association bi-national registry (2010-2012). Multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to address the study aims. Results Of the 2892 patients, 69 (2.4 ) died following burn. Time to admission and direct admission to a burn centre did not independently influence burn mortality except when patients with inhalation injury took >16 h to transfer to definitive care. The risk of death was increased 5.7 times in the presence of inhalation injury. Burn size and age amplified the risk of death while gender did not. Conclusion In ANZ, pre-hospital transport systems and peripheral hospital stabilisation were not associated with an increased risk of death due to burn except when inhalation injury was present. The results of this study indicate that burn patients with inhalation injury should be stabilised and transferred to a burn service within 16 h of burn.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)735 - 741
Number of pages7
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Cite this