Characteristics of burn injury during COVID-19 pandemic in Tokyo: A descriptive study

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Introduction: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has drastically changed everyday life worldwide. This study aimed to determine how COVID-19 affected the characteristics and outcomes of patients with severe burn injury by examining a city-wide burn database in Tokyo. Patients and methods: A descriptive study was conducted in 14 burn centers using the Tokyo Burn Unit Association registry from 1999 to 2020. The pandemic started in 2020, while the stay-at-home order lasted from April to May. The demographics, mechanisms, severity, and clinical outcomes were assessed before and during these two time periods. Results: In total, 7061 patients with burn injury were enrolled. During the pandemic, there were less patients during the pandemic than previous years, except for April–May; this decreased toward the end of 2020. There were also more scald/contact burns in the upper extremity, less intended and assault injuries, shorter length of hospital stay, and lower in-hospital mortality. During the stay-at-home order, there was increased incidence of flame burns, inhalation injuries, and in-hospital mortality, as well as higher total body surface area of full-thickness burns. Conclusions: This study described the characteristics of burns during the COVID-19 pandemic. The association between the stay-at-home order and severity of burns should be further examined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-45
Number of pages6
JournalBurns Open
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Oct


  • COVID-19
  • Characteristics
  • Descriptive study
  • Epidemiology
  • Pandemic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Dermatology
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Surgery


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