10 year burns epidemiology in Queensland: An update from 2005 to 2015

Stephanie BM Tan1, Michael Muller1,2

1 Royal Brisbane and Womens Hospital, Queensland, Australia
2 Burns Trauma Critical Care Research Centre, University of Queensland


To study the epidemiology of burns in Queensland and evaluate changes in burns aetiology, admission numbers, demographics, mortality and geographical referral base over a 10 year period compared to the previous 20 years to allow evaluation of the changing needs of burns patients(1).


The Royal Brisbane and Womens Hospital (RBWH) Burns Unit Database was accessed and data from the 10 year period of July 2005 to June 2015 was extracted.


3534 admissions. 72.9% male, 27.1% female. Age: 44.8% in 21-40 year age group, 13.4% under 20 years, 28.4% in 41-60 age group and 13.4% over 61 years. TBSA: 89.1% under 20% burns, 7.2% with 21-40% burns, 2% with 41-60% burns and 1.6% with >61% burns. Causes: 45.3% flame, 26.7% scald, 15.8% contact, 5.2% chemical, 3.2% electrical, 3.8% other. Place: 59.9% occurred domestically, 8.3% in a vehicle, 13.3% at a workplace, 9.2% recreational, 0.7% in a hospital or care facility and 8.6% other. Inhalational Injuries: 9% of patients were intubated. 95% of burns are accidental. Mortality: Overall mortality 1.6%.


There is a large increase in admissions from the previous 20 years reflecting the growing population and increasing ease of patient transfer. There is a considerable fall in flame and workplace burns due to Occupational Health and Safety Measures.  There is an increase in patients aged over 60 admitted, reflecting an aging population.  There are an increasing number of patients referred from outer metro hospitals. Overall decrease in mortality rate.

Key Words

Burns, epidemiology, Brisbane, Queensland


  1. Pegg SP. Burn epidemiology in the Brisbane and Queensland area. Burns. 2005 Jan;31 Suppl 1:S27–31.


Stephanie Tan is currently working as a General Surgical PHO in the Royal Brisbane Hospital.

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