World Journal of Surgery

, Volume 37, Issue 7, pp 1530–1535 | Cite as

Baseline Assessment of Inpatient Burn Care at Tenwek Hospital, Bomet, Kenya

  • Craig R. OtteniEmail author
  • Seno Ivan Saruni
  • Vincent P. Duron
  • Jeremy P. Hedges
  • Russell E. White



Burn injuries are a significant source of both death and disability in developing countries. The objective of this project was to create a database of baseline inpatient burn care data to facilitate improvement of preventive measures and clinical outcomes at Tenwek Hospital, Bomet, Kenya.


Both demographic and clinical data were obtained through a retrospective chart review conducted on inpatient burn patients admitted to Tenwek Hospital between January 1, 2006 and May 31, 2010.


Of the 269 patients studied, 53 % were male and 47 % were female. More than half (59 %) of the burns occurred in children younger than age 5 years. All-cause mortality rate of inpatient burn patients was 12 %. Cardiac arrest, sepsis, and respiratory failure/pneumonia caused 81 % of the deaths. Scalds caused 55 % of the burns. Thirteen percent of the burns were seizure-related. Second degree burns accounted for 76 % of the burns. Forty-three percent of patients received at least one surgical debridement during their hospital stay. Thirty-seven percent of patients received at least one split-thickness skin graft. Antibiotic treatment was administered to 55 % of patients. Fifty-three percent of patients presented to Tenwek Hospital 1 day or more from the time of injury.


We propose that prevention efforts focus on minimizing children’s exposure to boiling liquids and open flames in homes, providing appropriate and consistent treatment to epileptics to prevent seizure-related burns, and stressing the importance of early presentation for treatment. A more selective approach to antibiotic use should be encouraged to decrease costs to the patient and hospital and lessen the risk of antibiotic resistance.


Total Body Surface Area Inhalational Injury Open Flame Tertiary Care Medical Center Institutional Review Board Committee 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors thank Hannah Otteni for her participation in data collection, Jason Fader, MD, for his supervision of data collection, Robert K. Parker, MD, for his role in critiquing the project, the staff of Tenwek Hospital who helped to enable this project to be completed, and the Summer Assistantship Program at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University for providing funding for travel and housing.

Conflict of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


  1. 1.
    Agbenorku P, Akpaloo J, Yalley D et al (2010) A new era in the management of burns trauma in Kumasi, Ghana. Ann Burns Fire Disasters 23(2):59–66PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Atiyeh BS, Costagliola M, Hayek SN (2009) Burn prevention mechanisms and outcomes: pitfalls, failures and successes. Burns 35:181–193PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Mock C, Peck M, Peden M et al (2008) A WHO plan for burn prevention and care. World Health Organization, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Forjuoh SN (2006) Burns in low- and middle-income countries: a review of available literature on descriptive epidemiology, risk factors, treatment, and prevention. Burns 32:529–537PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kalayi G (2006) Mortality of burns in Zaria: an experience in a developing economy. East Afr Med J 83(8):461–464PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Van Niekerk A, Rode H, Laflamme L (2004) Incidence and patterns of childhood burn injuries in the Western Cape, South Africa. Burns 30:341–347PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Albertyn R, Bickler S, Rode H (2006) Paediatric burn injuries in sub-Saharan Africa—an overview. Burns 32:605–612PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Oludiran O, Umebese P (2009) Pattern and outcome of children admitted for burns in Benin City, mid-western Nigeria. Indian J Plast Surg 42(2):189–193PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Parbhoo A, Louw QA, Grimmer-Somers K (2010) Burn prevention programs for children in developing countries require urgent attention: a targeted literature review. Burns 36:164–175PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Chipp E, Milner CS, Blackburn AV (2010) Sepsis in burns: a review of current practice and future therapies. Ann Plast Surg 65(2):228–236PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    The World Factbook (2011) Central Intelligence Agency, 2011, Washington, DC. Accessed 30 April 2012
  12. 12.
    Ahmed NU, Alam MM, Sultana F et al (2006) Reaching the unreachable: barriers of the poorest to accessing NGO healthcare services in Bangladesh. J Health Popul Nutr 24(4):456–466PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Bakeera SK, Wamala SP, Galea S et al (2009) Community perceptions and factors influencing utilization of health services in Uganda. Int J Equity Health 14:8–25Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Mushi D, Hunter E, Mtuya C et al (2011) Social-cultural aspects of epilepsy in Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania: knowledge and experience among patients and carers. Epilepsy Behav 20(2):338–343PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Société Internationale de Chirurgie 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Craig R. Otteni
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Seno Ivan Saruni
    • 3
  • Vincent P. Duron
    • 4
  • Jeremy P. Hedges
    • 5
    • 6
  • Russell E. White
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.ProvidenceUSA
  3. 3.General Surgery Residency Program, Department of SurgeryTenwek HospitalBometKenya
  4. 4.General Surgery Residency Program, Department of SurgeryRhode Island Hospital, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  5. 5.General and Minimally Invasive Surgery, Department of SurgerySchool of Medicine, University of ColoradoColorado SpringsUSA
  6. 6.Department of SurgeryUniversity of ColoradoAuroraUSA

Personalised recommendations