Evaluating Real-World National and Regional Trends in Definitive Closure in U.S. Burn Care: A Survey of U.S. Burn Centers

Document Type


Publication Date



Trauma & Acute Care Surgery

Journal Title

Journal of burn care & research : official publication of the American Burn Association

MeSH Headings

Benchmarking; Burn Units (economics, trends); Burns (therapy); Community Resources; Humans; Practice Patterns, Physicians' (statistics & numerical data); United States


To better understand trends in burn treatment patterns related to definitive closure, this study sought to benchmark real-world survey data with national data contained within the National Burn Repository version 8.0 (NBR v8.0) across key burn center practice patterns, resource utilization, and clinical outcomes. A survey, administered to a representative sample of U.S. burn surgeons, collected information across several domains: burn center characteristics, patient characteristics including number of patients and burn size and depth, aggregate number of procedures, resource use such as autograft procedure time and dressing changes, and costs. Survey findings were aggregated by key outcomes (number of procedures, costs) nationally and regionally. Aggregated burn center data were also compared to the NBR to identify trends relative to current treatment patterns. Benchmarking survey results against the NBR v8.0 demonstrated shifts in burn center patient mix, with more severe cases being seen in the inpatient setting and less severe burns moving to the outpatient setting. An overall reduction in the number of autograft procedures was observed compared to NBR v8.0, and time efficiencies improved as the intervention time per TBSA decreases as TBSA increases. Both nationally and regionally, an increase in costs was observed. The results suggest resource use estimates from NBR v8.0 may be higher than current practices, thus highlighting the importance of improved and timely NBR reporting and further research on burn center standard of care practices. This study demonstrates significant variations in burn center characteristics, practice patterns, and resource utilization, thus increasing our understanding of burn center operations and behavior.

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