The value of using abbreviated burns severity index score in predicting the outcome of patients with moderate to severe thermal injuries at Kenyatta National Hospital
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BACKGROUD Burns constitute severe trauma for an individual patient. There exists a need to be able to document injury severity in the particular patient and reasonably predict outcome for purposes of patient management, triage and counseling. Routine trauma scores currently in existence do not perform well when applied to burn injuries. Hence the need to apply a bum-injury specific trauma score and find out its applicability in our setup. METHODOLOGY This was a prospective observation study based at the Kenyatta National Hospital. Consecutive patients admitted with burn injuries were recruited after obtaining consent. A questionnaire was filled out for each, documenting their biographic data plus a calculation of their Abbreviated Burns Severity Index (ABSI) score. They were then followed up till they were discharged or they died and the time intervals noted. The results were then analyzed on achieving the end points for the patients recruited. RESULTS A total of 200 patients were recruited. Thirty seven of these died corresponding to 18.5% mortality. There were more male than female patients in the ratio of 1:0.8. Most of the burns (67%) were due to scald injuries. 22% of the patients had inhalation injuries. 45% of the patients had an ABSI score of 4-5. Mortality was as predicted by the ABSI in all but categories 2-3 and 6-7 of the calculated ABSI score CONCLUSION. ABSI score is useful in our setup both to document burn injury severity and to predict outcome. It can also be used as a self evaluation tool of institution performance in burn patient management.