A review of The National Burn Centre referral patterns

Nicholas Solanki1, Sarah Shugg1, Tess Brian1, Richard Wong She1

1The National Burn Centre, Middlemore Hospital, Otahuhu, New Zealand


Introduction: The National Burn Centre (TNBC) at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland first opened in 2006.  Its role is to provide care for the most severely burn-injured patients from around New Zealand, receiving referrals from the regional burns units. In addition, TNBC also treats severe burn patients transferred from Tahiti according to a government agreement.

Methods: A review of the first 10 years of TNBC from 2006 to 2016 was performed to assess referral patterns using data gathered from the burn database at Middlemore Hospital. The primary focus was on acute patients that were transferred from other regions or who met TNBC referral criteria.

Results: Over this period there were 3398 burn admissions to Middlemore Hospital. Of these 361 fulfilled TNBC referral criteria.

Conclusions: 56% of patients were transferred from the ‘local’ region (Auckland and Waikato) while fewer patients were transferred from the units located farther away (Hutt and Christchurch). Just over half of all patients had an injury less than the referral criteria of 30% TBSA, indicating they had smaller but more complex burn injuries. The median age of patients from Auckland was significantly higher (P=0.001, Students T-test). The median length of stay was slightly higher in the patients from Auckland and Tahiti, as patients referred from other regional units were transferred back once their acute surgery was complete.


Sarah Shugg is a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery registrar in NZ currently working as part of the burn team at The National Burn Centre at Middlemore Hospital.”


ANZBA is a not for profit organisation and the peak body for health professionals responsible for the care of the burn injured in Australia and New Zealand. ANZBA encourages higher standards of care through education, performance monitoring and research.

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