Summer and winter: Lessons from adult foot burns

Dr Jason Diab1,2,3,4, Dr Justine O’Hara1,2,3, Mrs Miranda Pye1, Ms Christine Parker1, Prof Peter Maitz1,2,3, Dr Andrea Issler-Fisher1,2,3

1Concord Repatriation General Hospital, , Australia, 2ANZAC Research Institute, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, Sydney, Australia., Sydney, Australia, 3Concord Clinical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia., Sydney, Australia, 4School of Medicine, University of Notre Dame, Sydney, Australia.


Foot burns represent a small part of the body with many challenges. The impact of diabetes on clinical outcomes should be carefully considered in management. Our aim was to analyse epidemiological trends of foot burns and examine the differences between diabetic and non-diabetics.
A retrospective audit from 2014 – 2019 at Concord General Repatriation Hospital Burns Unit. All foot burn injuries from 2014 – 2019 of all ages that attended were included in this study.
There were 797 patients who presented with foot burns, of which16.2% were diabetic. The average age was higher in diabetics (60.72 years) than non-diabetics (39.72 years) and more males suffered burns compared to females in both groups (p<0.001). There was a larger portion of elderly patients (greater than 65 years old, 15.1% of total) who sustained foot burns in the diabetic group compared to the non-diabetic group (p<0.001). The most affected season was summer (27.0%), but diabetic patients had a higher rate of injury in winter from contact burns, compared to non-diabetic patients who had a high rate of injury in summer from scald burns (p<0.001). In a multivariable linear regression analysis, including factors that contributed to increased length of stay included elderly status, place of event, diabetic status, number of operations, ICU admission, wound infection, amputation, and admission [F (16, 757)= 41.149, p<0.001].

A focus on prevention and education for diabetes is central to optimising glycaemic control and burn management, whilst providing a multidisciplinary network on discharge.


Jason is a surgical registrar with previous clinical and research experience in paediatric and adult burns. He has a strong interest in burn prevention and education.

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