Campfire-related burns in South Australia – presentation and treatment differences between Indigenous and non-Indigenous patients

Dr Jake Willet1,2,3, Dr Courtney Ryder, Dr Sarah  Fraser, Mr  George  Dounas, Mr  Kurt  Towers, Dr  Matthew  Jennings, Dr Nicholas Solanki, Dr Patrick Coghlan, Dr  Bernard  Carney, Prof Marcus  Wagstaff

1Women’s and Children’s Hospital, , Australia, 2Royal Adelaide Hospital, , Australia, 3University of Adelaide, , Australia


Acute injuries are more prevalent in Indigenous populations with Indigenous Australians over-represented in specific burn injury aetiologies such as flame and campfire related burns.

This study explores epidemiological factors contributing to differences in campfire-related burns management and outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations.

The RAH Burns Service Registry data was analysed over a 5 year period: 1st July 2014 to 30th June 2019. Indigenous knowledges were important for the overall study conceptualisation and conduct.

Substantial delays to admission were identified in Indigenous patients, conferring greater morbidity and requirement for surgical intervention from these injuries. The inpatient stay of Indigenous patients is almost twice that of non-Indigenous populations suffering the same injury, with disparities in outcome and sociocultural burden that must be addressed.

There is scope to reduce these inequalities and the authors strongly advocate for ongoing burns education, timely initiation of burn management and escalation of care to specialist burns centres.



Burns Service Registrar at the WCH

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