Burn injury outcome differences in Native Americans

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Objective: Native Americans (NAs) have worse healthcare outcomes over some measures than non-Native Americans (non-NAs) (i.e., lower life expectancy, higher heart disease and psychiatric disease rates). Little data exists to show if there are differences in the hospital course of burned NAs versus non-NA patients. The purpose of this study is to analyze the epidemiology, clinical course, and outcomes of NA burn injury in Arizona. Methods: We conducted a retrospective database review of all burn center burn admissions from 2000 to 2015. This initial dataset of 12,724 patients included all initial presentations for burns, non-burns, and readmissions. From this database, we extracted all patients who were new admissions for burn injuries only. This resulted in 10,521 patients of which 9555 patients were non-NA patients and 966 were NA patients. The burn center collects sixty-eight data points to populate our burn database; of these data points, we reviewed twenty-nine to assess if differences existed. Results: Statistically significant differences exist between the two groups with regard to age, geographic locality at time of burn, circumstances surrounding the injury, etiology of the injury, method of transport to the regional burn center, total length of stay, Injury Severity Score on admission, total percent total body surface area burned, month of year of burn injury, hospital charges, payor source for medical costs, and the final disposition. NA burn patients were more often burned at recreational than occupational sites and while participating in non-work related activities. Burn etiologies in NA patients were more frequently due to contact and flame. NA burn patients tended to have greater hospital length of stays and greater charges, and were less likely to be discharged home. Conclusions: Our data demonstrate that NAs have a different experience with the healthcare system than non-NAs after a burn injury. The majority of these issues revolve around socioeconomic differences between the two groups.

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