Our department is Morocco’s first specialized centre for the treatment of burns and is currently the only centre for burn patients in Moroccan military hospitals, which treat both the military and civilians.
Our study is the first epidemiological multivariate analysis of burn patients in Morocco. The results show a male:female sex ratio of 1.63:1, which is significantly reduced compared to previous studies6,7
but still with a male predominance.6-8
This study is limited to the recruitment of the military hospital in Rabat.
The most affected age group in our study was that of 15 to 29 years - the series reported by Frans1
described a younger age group. There was also a relatively high percentage of burned children aged between 0 and 14 years compared to other studies,6,7
but this may have been secondary to the predominance of domestic accidents and parental negligence and to differences in socioeconomic levels between countries.9-11
Our patients’ mean was age similar to that reported in the literature.6-8,12
We found that most admissions were secondary to domestic accidents, while studies by other authors found more accidents to professional workers.6
Most of our patients were referred from other hospitals all over the Kingdom of Morocco, mainly from the south of the country, with a small percentage of patients admitted directly from the emergency department of our own hospital; other studies found that the majority of patients were admitted in an emergency.
The average hospital stay of 41.76 days was similar to findings from other studies,1,3,6
which in our opinion poses a major management problem because of the scarcity of specialized burn centres in Morocco. This underlines the need for other specialized centres and for more care and attention in order to prevent such accidents, starting with the education of the population.
In our study the commonest cause of burns was hot liquids or flame, as in other studies,6,7
plus a particular aspect, typical of our country and secondary to the explosion of the small gas bottle () invariably used in Moroccan kitchens. This gas cylinder is a veritable time bomb in every house all over the Kingdom of Morocco.
Small gas cylinder responsible for the majority of dramas.
The study shows a large predominance of seconddegree burns, as in other studies.1,3,6,7
The 67 cases we studied included a history of diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Some rare patients had toxic habits (alcohol and tobacco). Fourteen of our patients died, the remainder (95%) having been pronounced as having a favourable evolution.
The leading causes of death were pulmonary embolism and septic shock, while deaths from inhalation injury, as quoted in the study by Chong,6
were rarer in our series because of the availability of our hyperbaric room and the rarity of the occurrence of burn injuries in closed localities. Hyperbaric treatment was used every time the patient was transportable: it has no contra-indications and could be beneficial for wound healing.