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Burn Injury Statistics


If you or a loved one has suffered a burn injury, you are not alone. Each year, approximately 500,000 people receive medical treatment for these injuries, and 40,000 of those victims are hospitalized. The following burn injury statistics provide a glimpse into the causes and outcomes of fires as well as exposure to chemicals, electricity, and radiation.

Burn injury statistics infographic

General Burn Injury Statistics

Of patients admitted to specialized burn centers between 1995 and 2005:

  • 94 percent survived their injuries.
  • 38 percent suffered burns on more than 10 percent of their bodies.
  • Their injuries were caused by:
    • fire – 46 percent
    • scalding – 32 percent
    • contact with a hot object – 8 percent
    • electrical burns – 4 percent
    • chemicals – 3 percent

Thermal Burn Injury Statistics

The leading causes of home fires are improper use of cooking equipment and smoking materials (ex. lit cigarettes). In a fire:

  • Inhalation of toxic gases causes 70 percent of fire-related deaths.
  • Only 30 percent of deaths and injuries are caused by actual flames.

Chemical Burn Injury Statistics

Chemical burn injury statistic show that, in 2003, there were:

  • 22,000 cases of exposure to acid
  • 50,500 to alkaline solutions
  • 16,272 to peroxide
  • 54,300 to bleach

Electric Burn Injury Statistic

Electrical burns are a common workplace injury. In one ten-year study of 120,000 employees, there were 1,231 injuries. Of these:

  • 77 percent were short circuit injuries
  • 21 percent caused permanent disability
  • 2 percent were fatal

Radiation Burn Injury Statistic

According to one radiation burn injury study, between 1999 and 2004:

  • The incidence of first-degree sunburn rose from 32 percent to 34 percent.
  • Two-thirds of those surveyed said they had been burned more than once each year.

Burn-related Deaths

The American Burn Association reports that there are approximately 4,000 fire- and burn-related deaths each year. Approximately 3,500 of these are caused by residential fires, while the other 500 are caused by motor vehicle accidents, airplane crashes, and contact with electricity, chemicals, or hot substances.

Locate a Burn Injury Lawyer near You

While the numbers are staggering, victims do not have to feel like just another statistic; enlisting the help of a talented lawyer can help victims and their families recover financially, emotionally, and physically. Please contact an experienced burn injury lawyer in your area today.

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