Burn injury caused by motor vehicle use and repair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Despite continued efforts to increase safety, burns associated with motor vehicles have accounted for as much as 10% of all burn admissions. Our objective was to characterize the mechanism of these burn types. We undertook a retrospective review of all patients admitted to a regional burn center from 1997 through 2003. A total of 2745 patients were admitted; 8.0% (n = 220) had automobile-associated injuries. Their mean age was 29.6 ± 18.1 years, and 83.6% (n = 184) were men. Mean burn size was 14 ± 15.6% TBSA, 7.5 ± 15.2% full-thickness. Inhalation injury occurred in 25 patients, and 25 patients had associated nonburn injuries. Mean length of stay was 14.8 ± 23.6 days. Those patients undergoing procedures (n = 108) had an average of 2.1 operations, with a mean area grafted of 2780 cm. There were two deaths in this group of patients. Hospital charges amounted to $53,200 ± 78,000 per patient. Automobile burns still account for a significant portion of burn unit admissions. The most severe injuries appear to be from the regular use and maintenance of vehicles. The most common burn injuries are from radiators and carburetors. Simple prevention should be adequate to avoid these injuries. Current efforts appear to have made minimal headway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)901-904
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • Surgery


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