Burn Incidence and Treatment in the United States: 2016

The following estimates were derived from sample and registry statistics compiled by ongoing national health care and fire casualty surveys, selected state health data systems, and the National Burn Repository (NBR) of the American Burn Association (ABA). ABA NBR reports describe admissions to hospitals with specialized services provided by “burn centers.”

Burn Injuries Receiving Medical Treatment: 486,000

This general estimate is derived mainly from federal surveys which provide annual estimates of hospital admissions and visits to hospital emergency departments. The estimate range acknowledges that some burns may have been treated solely at hospital clinics, community health centers, or private medical offices. Such burns are more likely to be minor, and the number of such facilities sampled is too small to provide reliable estimates for burns.

Sources: National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2011 Emergency Department Summary Tables (accessed on January 22, 2015, at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/ahcd/web_tables.htm#2011).

Fire/Smoke Inhalation Deaths: 3,275

This total includes 2,745 deaths from residential fires, 310 from vehicle crash fires, and 220 from other sources. One civilian fire death occurs every 2 hours and 41 minutes. The odds of a U.S. resident dying from exposure to fire, flames or smoke is 1 in 1442. Fire and inhalation deaths are combined because deaths from thermal burns in fires cannot always be distinguished from deaths from inhalation of toxins in smoke.

Sources: National Fire Protection Association: Fire Loss in the U.S. during 2014 (accessed on 2/8/16, at http://www.nfpa.org/research/reports-and-statistics/fires-in-the-us/overall-fire-problem/fire-loss-in-the-united-states). National Safety Council Injury Facts Sheet 2015 (accessed 2/8/16, at http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/injury-facts-odds-of-dying.aspx).

Hospitalizations Related to Burn Injury: 40,000, including 30,000 at hospital burn centers

Over 60% of the estimated U.S. acute hospitalizations related to burn injury were admitted to 128 burn centers. Such centers now average over 200 annual admissions for burn injury and skin disorders requiring similar treatment. The other 4,500 U.S. acute care hospitals average less than 3 burn admissions per year.

Sources: National Inpatient Sample (HCUP-NIS: 2010 data); National Hospital Discharge Survey (2010 data); recent 100% hospitalization data from several states.

Selected Statistics: 2005-2014 Burn Admissions to Burn Centers

(ABA National Burn Repository 2015)

Survival Rate: 96.8%
Gender: 68% Male, 32% Female
Ethnicity: 59% Caucasian, 20% African-American, 14% Hispanic, 7% Other
Admission Cause: 43% Fire/Flame, 34% Scald, 9% Contact, 4% Electrical, 3% Chemical, 7% Other
Place of Occurrence: 73% Home, 8% Occupational, 5% Street/Highway, 5% Recreational/Sport, 9% Other