Hospital length of stay (LOS) after burn injury is commonly estimated as 1 day per percent burn, but LOS often exceeds that estimate. The purpose of this study is to develop a novel method for estimating burn hospital LOS at any time during hospitalization. The authors used the American Burn Association National Burn Repository from 2000 to 2009 to directly estimate the median residual LOS (MRLOS) of patients hospitalized for burn injuries and who survived to discharge. The MRLOS is the median of how many more days a burn patient will be hospitalized given that the person has been in hospital for a specified time period. The authors also estimated the 25th and 75th percentiles of residual life and quantified the relationship between MRLOS and LOS with ordinary least squares for all burn patients, by burn size and by presence of inhalation injury. MRLOS increased with increasing LOS, confirming that discharge estimates change over time. Patients with inhalation injury had longer MRLOS than patients without inhalation injury in the first 100 hospital days. Patients with large burns (>25%) had large MRLOS consistent with prolonged hospitalization, but patients with small burns (<25%) also had steadily increasing MRLOS during hospitalization (ie, the longer the patient was in the hospital, the longer the predicted LOS regardless of initial LOS estimate). Estimating remaining hospital LOS at any time during admission has been problematic; MRLOS can be used to provide an estimate of remaining hospital LOS and resource utilization to families, administrators, and other medical professionals.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine