Comparing the short-term outcomes of paediatric burns in the North Queensland population

Dr Helen Buschel1, Ms Rebecca Watson-Brown1, Mrs Debra Phillips1, Mrs Michelle Parkinson1, Dr Bhanu Mariyappa Rathnamma1, Mr Harry  Stalewski1, Dr Daniel  Carroll1

1Queensland Health, Townsville Hospital


Background: The North Queensland Paediatric Burns Service (NQPBS) is not a recognised burns unit with the Australia and New Zealand Burns Association. However, the service is a hub for a large number of paediatric burns in North Queensland (NQ) from Mackay to the Torres Strait. This population includes children from regional, rural and remote areas, as well as a significant percentage of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children.

Previous studies in NSW, the ACT and WA have reported a difference in burns in rural versus urban children (Duke et al., 2012, Hyland et al., 2015). No previous studies have investigated differences within the NQ population.

Aim: To compare the epidemiology of children managed by the NQPBS

Methods: Retrospective chart review of 143 children treated by NQPBS in 2016

Results: Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children continue to be over-represented in risk of presenting to the NQPBS. Despite efforts, we are failing to close the gap in this vulnerable population. Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children and children from rural areas present with a different pattern of injuries to those in regional areas.

Conclusions: Further work is required to improve outcomes for patients from vulnerable backgrounds within NQ.


DUKE, J., REA, S., SEMMENS, J. & WOOD, F. 2012. Urban compared with rural and remote burn hospitalisations in WA. Burns, 38, 591-8.

HYLAND, E. J., ZENI, G., HARVEY, J. G. & HOLLAND, A. J. 2015. Rural and Metropolitan Pediatric Burns in NSW and the ACT: Does Distance Make a Difference? J Burn Care, 36, e231-7.

Helen is an intern at the Townsville Hospital with an interest in paediatric surgery. She graduated from James Cook University with honours in 2016.


ANZBA is a not for profit organisation and the peak body for health professionals responsible for the care of the burn injured in Australia and New Zealand. ANZBA encourages higher standards of care through education, performance monitoring and research.

ASM Sites

2016 Keynote Speaker Videos

Conference Managers

Please contact the team at Conference Design with any questions regarding the conference.
Photography Credits: South Australian Tourism Commission Jonathan Kissock - JK Imaging Penfolds Magill Estate
© 2015 - 2017 Conference Design Pty Ltd