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More than 3000 people attend Victorian Hospital Emergency Departments suffering burn related each year. 300 of those arrive at the Alfred Burns Unit...

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What is a Burns Unit? The Burns unit at the Royal Children’s Hospital is the designated paediatric burns unit for Victoria. More than 600 children present...

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Burns Alliance

The Royal Children’s Hospital Burns Department and the Safety Centre, together with representatives from the state’s fire services and the Alfred Hospital and The Royal Children’s Hospital Burns Units have...

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Burn facts

Burns are common injuries:

  • Approximately one percent of the population of Australia sustain a burn injury each year.
  • Most of these people will heal with no after effects.
  • Approximately one percent of all burn patients (approx 2,200 nationwide) will require specialised care and possible long term management.
  • Children from birth to sixteen years account for a great number of burn injuries each year, with large numbers under four years of age.
  • Types of burns include:
    1. scalds - electrical
    2. contact - chemical
    3. flame - friction
    4. explosion - radiation
  • Younger children are predominantly burnt by scalds from hot liquids and contact with hot objects.
  • Older children are predominantly burnt by fires and explosions.

Reasons why burns are common, especially in younger children, are complex but include:

  • Children’s underdeveloped reflexes.
  • Their size in relation to placement of potentially injurious objects such as dangling cords and ovens.
  • Their inexperience with the consequences of touching hot objects and liquids.
  • Newly mobile toddlers using furniture, or anything available, to pull themselves up.
  • Pre-schoolers spend a lot of time in proximity to dangerous objects in the home, especially in the kitchen and bathroom.
  • Boys consistently sustain higher rates of burn injuries than girls.

The Burns unit at the Royal Children’s Hospital is the designated paediatric burns unit for Victoria. More than 600 children present to the emergency department with a burn injury each year. Of these over 100 are admitted to the burns unit and the burns outpatient clinic sees over 900 patients. The majority of burns seen are from preventable accidents. Through its partnership with VBPP the burns unit is actively working to reduce these preventable burns.
 
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