Our challenge

Every intervention after burn injury affects the scar worn for life.

Professor Fiona Wood AM

Burns are a life altering event. They cause immediate and long-term traumas to mind and body and are arguably the most painful, unique and complex injury a human can suffer.

Whether it is a hot liquid scalding injury to a child, or a horrific injury caused by fire, explosion or vehicle accident, the impact of a severe burn can last a lifetime with many having to deal with the physical and emotional effects every day of their lives. Recovery can be long-term, complex and challenging.

What the stats tell us

BRANZ Report | 1 July 2019 – 30 June 2020

Picture of 3,367 PATIENTS

3,367 PATIENTS

3,367 patients were admitted to burns units in the 2019-2020 year. This is a 5% decrease in admitted patients in 2019/2020.

Picture of 2,443 PATIENTS WERE ADULTS

2,443 PATIENTS WERE ADULTS

  • 2,443 patients were adults
  • 73% of the total burns population
  • 42% of adult burns are due to a flame
Picture of 924 PATIENTS WERE CHILDREN

924 PATIENTS WERE CHILDREN

  • 924 patients were children
  • 27% of the total burns population
  • 30% of paediatric cases were aged between one to two years
  • 52% of burns in children are due to scalds
Picture of 10.9% OF CHILDREN

10.9% OF CHILDREN

10.9% of children did not receive the recommended first aid for burn injuries

Picture of 68% OF CASES

68% OF CASES

68% of cases underwent at least one procedure in the operating theatre

Picture of 35% OF PATIENTS

35% OF PATIENTS

35% of patients with a burn exceeding 50% total body surface area died

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5 DAYS

The median hospital length of stay for adult patients was 5 days

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3 TIMES HIGHER

Geographic Profile 

  • 55% occur in Major Cities of Australia

  • 40% in regional Australia 

  • 5% in remote Australia

Compared to major Australian cities, the rate of burn injury per 100,000 people is higher in regional and remote areas.

Picture of TWO TIMES AS LIKLEY

TWO TIMES AS LIKLEY

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are twice as likely to be admitted to hospitals with a burn injury than the non-Indigenous population in Australia.

Picture of OVER $150 MILLION

OVER $150 MILLION

  • Burns cost the Australian community over $150 million per annum
  • More than $2000 of taxpayer funds are required per 24 hours of admission for specialist burn care

Our ongoing challenge

Our challenge is to minimise the devastation caused by visible scarring and discover what influences the effect invisible scarring has on:

  • the skins capacity to heal
  • the development and maintenance of scarring
  • additional long-term physical health issues
  • psychosocial wellbeing

Only with this knowledge can we truly unravel the mysteries of burn injury and address the problems associated with the functional, psychological and cosmetic aspects of burn scars. Doing this through developing and using individual treatment plans will ultimately improve the quality of life for those recovering from burn injuries.

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