CASES OF SURFACE CORROSIVE BURNS IN MAYO HOSPITAL, LAHORE FROM 2013-PRESENT
Background: South Asian society has a long history of surface corrosive burns. Acid throwing or vitriolage results in physical, social and psychological challenges and remains a major issue worldwide.
Objective: To collect data regarding frequency, age and gender distribution, burnt surface area, nature, major body parts damaged and mortality in surface corrosive burns at the medico-legal clinic of Mayo hospital, Lahore (Pakistan) from 1st January, 2013 upto September, 2018.
Methodology: It was a cross-sectional study at the medico-legal clinic of Mayo hospital, Lahore. The data of 38 surface corrosive burn cases was collected from 1st January, 2013 to September 2018 by consecutive sampling. All cases involving any surface chemical/corrosive burn were selected, while excluding wet burns, flame burns, substance poisoning etc. The data was obtained on a data collection proforma and analyzed by using SPSS version 23.0. These cases were categorized on the basis of the year of presentation, gender & age, burnt surface area, nature of burns, damage to any sensory or vital function and any resulting mortality. The research was conducted after obtaining an ethical approval by Institutional Review Board of King Edward Medical University, Lahore. Results: Surface corrosive burns constituted almost 0.0026% of the 14,550 medico-legal cases during the said duration. There were 21 males and 17 females. About 1/3rd of cases were between 21-30 years of age. Almost 42% cases had 9-18 % of body surface area burnt and 34.2% had less than 9% surface area burnt. Nearly 66% had been the victims of homicidal burns while 26.3% were burnt accidentally. About 42% individuals were subjected to vitriolage, involving face and eyes. No mortality was seen.
Conclusion: Surface corrosive burns specially vitriolage, although rare (0.0026%), cause a significant threat to the facial identity. They were mainly homicidal/accidental in nature, more frequent in males with a higher occurrence from 11 to 50 years of age.