Adult burn injuries due to domestic barbeques in New South Wales

Burns. 2008 Nov;34(7):1002-5. Epub 2008 May 15

Khalessi A, Maitz P, Haertsch P, Kennedy P.
Burns Unit, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, Concord, NSW 2135, Australia.


PURPOSE: Burn injuries associated with domestic barbeques were responsible for 80 admissions to Concord Hospital Burns Unit during the period from January 1998 until December 2007. In our series the number of burn injuries associated with domestic barbeques is increasing and we have reviewed the records of these patients to document their injuries and identify possible causes.

METHODS: The database of the unit was reviewed for all admissions resulting from domestic barbeques from January 1998 until December 2007. Patients whose injuries resulted from bonfires, camping or other domestic fires were excluded from the study.

RESULTS: The number of barbeque related burn injuries has increased as has the incidence of burns associated with gas fired barbeques. Young adult males predominate. Injuries ranged from 2 to 65% TBSA and 34% required intubation. There were 10 major complications with one death and 20% of patients required grafting. Length of stay varied from 1 to 51 days.

CONCLUSIONS: In this series the number of admissions resulting from both wood fired and gas barbeques has increased. The cause of injury in open fires is associated with misuse of accelerants, whilst the cause of injury in gas barbeques is mainly due to delayed ignition of gas or incorrect use of the appliance. Distribution and severity of injuries are similar.