Assessment and determinants of global outcomes among 445 mass-casualty burn survivors: A 2-year retrospective cohort study in Taiwan

Hsu Ma, Kwang Yi Tung, Shu Ling Tsai, David L. Neil, Yun Yi Ling, Hung Tsang Yen, Kao Li Lin, Yi Ting Cheng, Shu Chen Kao, Mei Na Lin, Niann Tzyy Dai, Cherng Kang Perng, Tyng Guey Wang, Hao Chih Tai, Li Ru Chen, Yung Chang Tuan, Chi-Hung Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: To study outcomes among survivors of the mass-casualty powder explosion on 27 June 2015, at Formosa Fun Coast Waterpark, New Taipei City, Taiwan. Methods: Using retrospective data on Taiwanese survivors, we analyzed prehospital management, burns assessment and prognosis, functional recovery, and medical costs, followed-up through 30 June 2017. We related outcomes to burn extent, categorized according to the percentages of total body surface area with second/third-degree burns (%TBSA) or autologous split-thickness skin grafts (%STSG), and an investigational scale: f{SASG} = (%TBSA + %STSG)/2, stratified by %STSG. Analyses included casualty dispersal, comparisons between %TBSA, %STSG and f{SASG}, and their relationships with length of hospitalization, times to rehabilitation and social/school re-entry, physical/mental disability, and medical costs. We also investigated how burn scars restricting joint mobility affected rehabilitation duration. Results: 445 hospitalized casualties (excluding 16 foreigners, 23 with 0% TBSA and 15 fatalities) aged 12–38 years, had mean TBSA of 41.1%. Hospitalization and functional recovery durations correlated with %TBSA, %STSG and f{SASG} – mean length of stay per %TBSA was 1.5 days; more numerous burn scar contractures prolonged rehabilitation. Females had worse burns than males, longer hospitalization and rehabilitation, and later school/social re-entry; at follow-up, 62.3% versus 37.7% had disabilities and 57.7% versus 42.3% suffered mental trauma (all p ≤ 0.001). Disabilities affecting 225/227 people were skin-related; 34 were severely disabled but 193 had mild/moderate impairments. The prevalence of stress-related and mood disorders increased with burn extent. Treatment costs (mean USD-equivalents ∼$48,977/patient, ∼$1192/%TBSA) increased with burn severity; however, the highest %TBSA, %STSG and f{SASG} categories accounted for <10% of total costs, whereas TBSA 41–80% accounted for 73.2%. Conclusions: Besides %TBSA, skin-graft requirements and burn scar contractures are complementary determinants of medium/long-term outcomes. We recommend further elucidation of factors that influence burn survivors’ recovery, long-term physical and mental well-being, and quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1444-1457
Number of pages14
Issue number6
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Burn injury assessment score/index
  • Length of stay (LOS)
  • Long-term physical/mental outcomes
  • Prognosis
  • Psychosocial rehabilitation
  • Treatment cost

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