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Analysis of Causes, Management, Sequelae and Mortality in Electrical Burn Injury
Journal of Korean Burn Society 2007;10(2):100-106
Published online December 30, 2007
© 2007 대한화상학회지.

Dong Kook Seo, M.D., Jang Hyu Ko, M.D., Jong Wook Lee, M.D., Jae Gu Choi, M.D. and Young Chul Jang, M.D.

Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, College of Medicine, Hallym University, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence to: Dong Kook Seo
Abstract
Backgrounds: The electrical burn is not a common disease entity, but brings severe tissue and vital structure damage, so eventually results in high morbidity and mortality. Especially in high tension injury over 1,000 volts, not only severe tissue damage but also renal failure or sepsis can occur. We will analyze the past electrical injuries, so can establish the proper management protocols. Methods: A retrospective clinical record analysis of 625 patients who admitted in Hangang Sacred Heart Hospital for 7 years, from January 1999 to December 2005, was done . The following items are evaluated; age, sex, injury mode, input and output of electric current, differences between low-tension and high-tension electrical injury, amputation, reconstructive surgery, concomitant injury and complication, sequelae, and mortality. Results: On the basis of the factors associated with epidemiologic data and treatment protocol, the results are as follows. 1.Age & Sex: In low-tension injury under 1,000 volts (group 1), children under 10 years old took the major portion, 166 among 185 patients. In high-tension injury over 1,000 volts, male and adults are most prevalent in number. 2.Injury mode: In group 1, steel chopstick insertion into wall socket while playing were 158 patients, electric work in low-voltage were 14, accidentally contact to electric wire in a field of construction work were 8. In group 2, electric work in high-voltage were 372, contact to electric wire in industrial situation or in railroad were 47, when doing mechanical facilities repair work were 11, and so on.3.Treatment: In group 1, the total numbers of flap surgery were 62 cases to 48 patients (1.3/1 person), and the groin flap was the most common surgery (33 cases). In group 2, total 650 flap surgery were done to 306 patients (2.1/1 person) and also the groin flap was the most common surgery (197 cases), especially the free flap (176 cases, 27%) possess relatively high portion. 4.Sequelae: The most common sequelae in group 1 was hand functional disability from nerve or tendon injury. In group 2, upper extremity disability from major amputation was most common.5.Mortality: Mortality was 5.7%, and all patients were injured by 22,900 volts electric current. The causes of death were renal failure, sepsis, and cardiac failure in order. Conclusions: Adequate management of electrical injuries can minimize the severe sequelae and mortality, and prevention is the most important mordality. (Journal of Korean Burn Society 2007;10:100-106)
Keywords : Electrical burn, Injury mode, Treatment, Sequelae, Mortality


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