Electrical burns incidence is increasing due to increased industrialization and increased use of electricity and electric domestic appliances. High morbidity and mortality associated with increasing incidence of electric injury may consume alarming is high amount of resources and healthcare budget.
Objective:To evaluate how early operative intervention will increase the chances of limb survival in electrical burns-at Safdarjung hospital burn unit over period of one year from January 2011 to December 2011 was reviewed and data about personal details, cause of burn, percentage of burn, treatment given, complication and final outcome were analyzed using descriptive statistics.
Results: Fasciotomies were done in 156 patients in 180 limbs. 1 patient had undergone laparotomy for ligation of RT external iliac artery. 58 out of the total 266 electric contact injured patients, represents that nearly 22% had to undergo amputations. Early flap cover after conservative debarment was done in 25 cases patients. Out of these 20 flap covers were done for upper limb defects. Minimal flap necrosis was noticed in 7 patients but the wounds healed without any further surgical intervention. In the 25 flaps done, 19 were distant flaps and 6 were local flaps. CT and MRI angiography was done in 24 patients during our study period. Out of these except for 2 CT angiography for lower limbs, all were for upper limbs. Out of 438 electric injury patients in our study, there was a mortality of 58 patients. 5 were brought dead and 53 patients expired while undergoing treatment in the hospital. This represents nearly 13% mortality rate from electrical related injuries.
Conclusion: Electric burn causes significant morbidity and mortality and can be prevented easily. It was emphasized that most of the electrical injuries can be prevented by education, policy implementation and use of safety. Patients survived with morbidity due to amputation. Initial management of electrical burn is imperative to optimize function and minimize long-term scarring. However, further studies are required regarding flap repair and microsurgery to minimize in electrical.