No Difference in Morbidity or Mortality Between Octogenarians and Other Geriatric Burn Trauma Patients

Miriam Alpert, Areg Grigorian, Victor Joe, Theresa L. Chin, Nicole Bernal, Michael Lekawa, Shevonne Satahoo, Jeffry Nahmias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Geriatric burn trauma patients (age ≥65 years) have a 5-fold higher mortality rate than younger adults. With the population of the US aging, the number of elderly burn and trauma patients is expected to increase. A past study using the National Burn Repository revealed a linear increase in mortality for those >65 years old. We hypothesized that octogenarians with burn and trauma injuries would have a higher rate of in-hospital complications and mortality, than patients aged 65-79 years old. Methods: The Trauma Quality Improvement Program (2010-2016) was queried for burn trauma patients. To detect mortality risk a multivariable logistic regression model was used. Results: From 282 patients, there were 73 (25.9%) octogenarians and 209 (74.1%) aged 65-79 years old. The two cohorts had similar median injury severity scores (16 vs. 15 in octogenarians, P =.81), total body surface area burned (P =.30), and comorbidities apart from an increased smoking (12.9% vs. 4.1%, P =.04) and decreased hypertension (52.2% vs. 65.8%, P =.04) in the younger cohort. Octogenarians had similar complications, including acute respiratory distress syndrome, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis (P >.05), and mortality (15.1% vs. 10.5%, P =.30), compared to the younger cohort. Octogenarians were not associated with an increased mortality risk (odds ratio 1.51, confidence interval 0.24-9.56, P =.67). Discussion: Among burn trauma patients ≥65 years, age should not be a sole predictor for mortality risk. Continued research is necessary in order to determine more accurate approaches to prognosticate mortality in geriatric burn trauma patients, such as the validation and refinement of a burn-trauma-related frailty index.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Surgeon
StateAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • burn
  • complications
  • geriatric
  • mortality
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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