Introduction Burn care has rapidly improved in the past decades. However, healthcare innovations can be expensive, demanding careful choices on their implementation. Obtaining knowledge on the extent of the costs of burn injuries is an essential first step for economic evaluations within burn care. The objective of this study was to determine the economic burden of patients with burns admitted to a burn centre and to identify important cost categories until 3 months post-burn. Patients and methods A prospective cohort study was conducted in the burn centre of Maasstad Hospital Rotterdam, the Netherlands, including all patients with acute burn related injuries from August 2011 until July 2012. Total costs were calculated from a societal perspective, until 3 months post injury. Subgroup analyses were performed to examine whether the mean total costs per patient differed by age, aetiology or percentage total body surface area (TBSA) burned. Results In our population, with a mean burn size of 8%, mean total costs were €26,540 per patient varying from €742 to €235,557. Most important cost categories were burn centre days (62%), surgical interventions (5%) and work absence (20%). Flame burns were significantly more costly than other types of burns, adult patients were significantly more costly than children and adolescents and a higher percentage TBSA burned also corresponded to significantly higher costs. Discussion and conclusion Mean total costs of burn care in the first 3 months post injury were estimated at €26,540 and depended on age, aetiology and TBSA. Mean total costs in our population probably apply to other high-income countries as well, although we should realise that patients with burn injuries are diverse and represent a broad range of total costs. To reduce costs of burn care, future intervention studies should focus on a timely wound healing, reducing length of stay and enabling an early return to work.

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Injury: International Journal of the Care of the Injured
Department of Public Health

Hop, M. J., Wijnen, B., Nieuwenhuis, M., Dokter, J., Middelkoop, E., Polinder, S., & van Baar, M. (2016). Economic burden of burn injuries in the Netherlands: a 3 months follow-up study. Injury: International Journal of the Care of the Injured, 47(1), 203–210. doi:10.1016/j.injury.2015.09.009