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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 30-35

Electrical burns in children: An experience


Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Sohaib Akhtar
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, UP
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the etiological factors, nature and pattern of injuries, early and late morbidities of injuries, corrective surgeries, and final outcome and rehabilitation in pediatric electrical burns. Materials and Methods: This study includes 53 children, below 14 years of age. All children, irrespective of severity of injuries, were admitted, assessed, and treated. The charts of pediatric patients who had been admitted to the authors' Centre with electrical burn injuries from January 2006 to December 2011 were reviewed retrospectively. Etiological factors, nature and pattern of injuries, early and late morbidities of injuries, corrective surgeries, and final outcome and rehabilitation were evaluated. Results: Injuries resulted from biting an electrical cord (n = 8), placing an object into an electrical socket (n = 7), coming in contact with a low-voltage wire or appliance indoor (n = 18), coming in contact with a high-voltage wire outdoors (n = 17), e.g., while flying a kite (n = 3). Most of the injuries occurred at the age between 4 and 7 years. Sixty-seven percent of the patients having electrical burns were boys and 33% were girls (M:F, 2.1:1). Most of the injuries occurred between 12:00 and 6:00 PM (51%) and most common organs involved were trunk and upper limb (30%). A 100% skin graft take was recorded in 14 patients (78%) on day 4 postoperatively. Three patients (17%) required partial regrafting and one (5%) experienced a complete loss, which was resolved with regrafting. There were no flap losses. Four amputations were performed and three patients did not survive. Conclusion: The study revealed that if the basic principles of early and adequate resuscitation, proper wound care, maximum tissue preservation, early wound coverage by proper reconstructive procedures, and appropriate rehabilitation are adhered to, there will be a successful outcome for patients with these injuries. Almost every child with high-voltage current injury had a bad prognosis due to the severity of the injury.


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