Predicting mortality from burns: The need for age-group specific models

Sandra L. Taylor, MaryBeth Lawless, Terese Curri, Soman Sen, David G Greenhalgh, Tina L Palmieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Traditional burn mortality models are derived using all age groups. We hypothesized that age variably impacts mortality after burn and that age-specific models for children, adults, and seniors will more accurately predict mortality than an all-ages model. We audited data from the American Burn Association (ABA) National Burn Repository (NBR) from 2000 to 2009 and used mixed effect logistic regression models to assess the influence of age, total body surface area (TBSA) burn, and inhalation injury on mortality. Mortality models were constructed for all ages and age-specific models: children (<18 years), adults (18-60 years), and seniors (>60 years). Model performance was assessed by area under the receiver operating curve (AUC). Main effect and two-way interactions were used to construct age-group specific mortality models. Each age-specific model was compared to the All Ages model. Of 286,293 records 100,051 had complete data. Overall mortality was 4% but varied by age (17% seniors, <1% children). Age, TBSA, and inhalation injury were significant mortality predictors for all models (p < 0.05). Differences in predicted mortality between the All Ages model and the age-specific models occurred in children and seniors. In the age-specific pediatric model, predicted mortality decreased with age; inhalation injury had greater effect on mortality than in the All Ages model. In the senior model mortality increased with age. Seniors had greater increase in mortality per 1% increment in burn size and 1 year increase in age than other ages. The predicted mortality in seniors using the senior-specific model was higher than in the All Ages model. "One size fits all" models for predicting burn outcomes do not accurately reflect the outcomes for seniors and children. Age-specific models for children and seniors may be advisable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1106-1115
Number of pages10
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2014


  • Burns
  • Model
  • Mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Predicting mortality from burns: The need for age-group specific models'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this