Objectives: The American Burn Association classifies a burn to the genitalia as a major injury. Isolated burns to the penis, scrotum or vulva are rare as a result of protection provided by the thighs and abdomen. Thus, burned genitalia represent an ominous sign of a more extensive total body surface area burn. Methods: A retrospective analysis of consecutive patients admitted to a Level-1 Burn Unit with a burn involving the genitalia from January 1995 to December 2009 comprised the study population. Results: A total of 393 patients of 5878 patients (6.7%) admitted to the Burn Unit suffered a burn involving the genitalia, including 253 males (64.4%) and 140 females (35.6%). The median total body surface area was 12% (range 1-100%), the most common cause of genital burn was scald (n=246, 62.9%) and median length of stay was 9days (range 1-472days). A total of 269 patients (68.4%) were discharged to home from the hospital, and in-hospital mortality was 20.9%. Conclusions: The typical profile for those sustaining a genital burn include younger patients (≤30years-of-age), sustaining a median total body surface area burn of 12% from a scald injury, with extensive genitalia involvement. Length of stay for genital burns is usually extended and, as a result of concomitant injuries, is associated with a 20% in-hospital death rate.
- Genital burns
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