Are Burn Unit Admissions Increased during Weekends and Certain Holidays?

Background: Anecdotal evidence suggests an increased incidence of burn admissions during weekends and certain times of the year, particularly the summer holidays. We formally analyzed the timing of admissions to our burn unit as well as severity of injury by date to investigate more precisely the temporal patterns of burn injuries throughout the year.

Materials and methods: A retrospective chart review was performed of all patients admitted to our burn center from 2006-2015. Date, day of the week, month, and season of admission were collected and analyzed. Type of burn injury and total body surface area (TBSA) were also noted for each admission from 2013-2015.

Results: The majority of admissions occurred on Sundays (39 ± 4 compared to 30 ± 6, p=0.0009), the second most occurred on Mondays (36 ± 6, p=0.038), while the least occurred on Thursdays (24 ± 4, p=0.0169). Most admissions occurred in July compared to other months (22 ± 5 compared to 17 ± 2, p=0.017). Analysis by season revealed that most admissions occurred in the summer (60 ± 11 compared to 50 ± 3, p=0.0125). Scald injuries were most likely to occur in November (10 ± 9 compared to 7 ± 8, p=0.0055) and least likely to occur in February (4 ± 8, p=0.0388). Injuries occurring in July had the smallest total body surface area compared to other months (4 ± 2.5 compared to 8 ± 2.1, p<0.0001), and injuries in November were second smallest (5 ± 5.4, p=0.0147). Injuries occurring on Wednesdays were smaller than the other days of the week (2 ± 9 compared to 7 ± 3, p=0.0006).

Conclusion: Burn unit admissions are more likely to occur on the Sundays and Mondays and least likely to occur on Thursdays. July and the summer also tend to have higher rates of admissions than the rest of the year. Scald injuries are most likely to occur in November and least likely to occur in February. Admissions occurring during July, November, and on Wednesdays are associated with overall smaller-size injuries.

Author(s): Trehan K*, Healy J , Gregg SC , Glasgow K , Crombie RE , Cholewczynski WM , Atweh N and Savetamal A

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