Hospital admissions for burns rose by nearly 22 percent between 2000 and 2004 - from 26,700 to 32,000 - according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The rise follows a decline of 44 percent during the previous seven years.
AHRQ found that:
Almost one of every five admissions resulted from people being burned by a hot liquid, such as cooking oil, or scalded by hot vapors such as steam.
Burns from gasoline, lighter fluid and other highly flammable products accounted for the next largest share of admissions -3 percent - followed by burns from electrical appliances (10 percent); scalding by boiling tap water (5 percent); and chemical burns from acids and caustic or corrosive products (4 percent).
Nearly two out of three burn admissions were for patients younger than 45 years of age. Patients under age 18 accounted for 27 percent of admissions, while 18 to 44 year olds made up 38 percent. The elderly accounted for the smallest share of admissions (12 percent).
The average hospital stay for burn care cost hospitals almost twice that for all other conditions as a whole ($ 17,300 compared with $9,000). Hospital costs for burn victims cost hospitals $573 million in 2004.