Clinical outcome of patients with self-inflicted burns

Dutch Burns Repository Group Martini Hospital

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Patients with self-inflicted burns (SIB) are thought to have a longer length of stay compared to patients with accidental burns. However, other predictors for a longer length of stay are often not taken into account, e.g. percentage of the body surface area burned, age or comorbidities. Therefore, we wanted to study the outcome of patients with SIB at our burn center.

METHODS: A retrospective, observational study was conducted. All adult patients with acute burns admitted to the burn center of the Martini Hospital Groningen, between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2013 were included. Data on characteristics of the patient, injury, and outcome (LOS, mortality, discharge destination) were collected. In patients with SIB, suicide attempts (SA) were distinguished from self-harm without the intention to die (non-suicidal self-injury, NSSI). To evaluate differences in outcome, each patient with SIB was matched on variables and total score of the Abbreviated Burn Severity Index (ABSI) to a patient with accidental burns (AB).

RESULTS: In total 29 admissions (21 SA and 8 NSSI) were due to SIB and 528 due to accidents. Overall, when compared to AB, there were significant differences with respect to mortality and LOS for SA and/or NSSI. Mortality was higher in the SA group, while the LOS was higher in both the SA and NSSI groups compared to the AB group. However, after matching on ABSI, no statistical significant differences between the SA and SA-match or the NSSI and NSSI-match group were found.

CONCLUSION: With the right and timely treatment, differences in mortality rate or length of stay in hospital could all be explained by the severity of the burn and the intention of the patient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-795
Number of pages7
JournalBurns : journal of the International Society for Burn Injuries
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • accidents/mortality
  • adults
  • body surface area
  • burns/epidemiology
  • case-control studies
  • female
  • hospitalization
  • humans
  • length of stay/statistics & numerical data
  • male
  • middle aged
  • outcome assessment, health care/methods
  • retrospective studies
  • self-injurious behavior/epidemiology
  • suicide, attempted/statistics & numerical data
  • trauma severity indices


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