Pair of hands writing on paper

What is the study about?

This study aims to compare the long-term outcomes of burn survivors with and without inhalation injury. Inhalation injuries carry significant acute care burden, including prolonged days on a ventilator and days in the hospital. However, few studies have looked at outcomes of inhalation injury survivors after hospitalization.

What did the study find?

This study found that burn survivors with inhalation injury were significantly less likely to be employed at 24 months after injury, compared to survivors without inhalation injury. However, other health-related quality of life outcomes were similar between the two groups. This study suggests distinct long-term outcomes in adult burn survivors with inhalation injury.

Who participated in the study?

Adult burn survivors with and without inhalation injuries (n= 1,871; 208 with inhalation injury, 1,663 without inhalation injury) enrolled in the Burn Model Systems (BMS) National Database.

How was the study conducted?

This study was a retrospective study using data at 24 months post-injury from the BMS National Database.

How can people use the results?

Individuals with burn and inhalation injuries and their families can use the results of this study to better understand how inhalation injuries may effect long-term employment. Practitioners can use the results of this study to think about how to modify resource distribution and treatment models for burn survivors with inhalation injuries, to better help with long-term recovery specific to their needs.


Stockly, O.R., Wolfe, A.E., Carrougher, G.J., Stewart, B.T., Gibran, N.S., Wolf, S.E., McMullen, K., Bamer, A.M., Kowalske, K., Cioffi, W.G., Zafonte, R., Schneider, J.C., & Ryan, C.M. (2020). Inhalation injury is associated with long-term employment outcomes in the burn population: Findings from a cross-sectional examination of the Burn Model System National Database. PloS one, 15(9). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0239556


The contents of this quick review were developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number 90DPKT0009). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this quick review do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.