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Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):

, 15, 9,


Introduction: Inhalation injuries carry significant acute care burden including prolonged ventilator days and length of stay. However, few studies have examined post-acute outcomes of inhalation injury survivors. This study compares the long-term outcomes of burn survivors with and without inhalation injury.

Methods: Data collected by the Burn Model System National Database from 1993 to 2019 were analyzed. Demographic and clinical characteristics for adult burn survivors with and without inhalation injury were examined. Outcomes included employment status, Short Form-12/Veterans Rand-12 Physical Composite Score (SF-12/VR-12 PCS), Short Form-12/Veterans Rand-12 Mental Composite Score (SF-12/VR-12 MCS), and Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS) at 24 months post-injury. Regression models were used to assess the impacts of sociodemographic and clinical covariates on long-term outcome measures. All models controlled for demographic and clinical characteristics.

Results: Data from 1,871 individuals were analyzed (208 with inhalation injury; 1,663 without inhalation injury). The inhalation injury population had a median age of 40.1 years, 68.8% were male, and 69% were White, non-Hispanic. Individuals that sustained an inhalation injury had larger burn size, more operations, and longer lengths of hospital stay (p<0.001). Individuals with inhalation injury were less likely to be employed at 24 months post-injury compared to survivors without inhalation injury (OR = 0.63, p = 0.028). There were no significant differences in PCS, MCS, or SWLS scores between groups in adjusted regression analyses.

Conclusions: Burn survivors with inhalation injury were significantly less likely to be employed at 24 months post-injury compared to survivors without inhalation injury. However, other health-related quality of life outcomes were similar between groups. This study suggests distinct long-term outcomes in adult burn survivors with inhalation injury which may inform future resource allocation and treatment paradigms.

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Olivia R. Stockly, Audrey E. Wolfe, Gretchen J. Carrougher, Barclay T. Stewart, Nicole S. Gibran, Steven E. Wolf, Kara McMullen, Alyssa M. Bamer, Karen Kowalske, William G. Cioffi, Ross Zafonte, Jeffrey C. Schneider, Colleen M. Ryan