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Possibilities for more accurate prediction of thermal injury severity and determination of its impact on the body using the Abbreviated Burn Severity Index

Emiliya Mihaylova Kaisheva, Dobrinka Radoynova, Yolanda Zayakova


INTRODUCTION: During the last decades, the chances of survival in burn patients have been progressively increasing, but the issue of prognosis of death after such injuries is still of great ethical, social, medical, and forensic interest.

AIM: The purpose of our study was to examine and confirm the accuracy of the ABSI (Abbreviated Burn Severity Index) system in predicting the risk of death in thermal trauma by comparing its values with the actual risk reported.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In order to achieve this purpose, the medical records of burn patients admitted to the Clinic of Thermal Trauma, Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery at the Naval Hospital of Varna for a five-year period (2011-2015) were studied and the death cases were analyzed. The mortality rate predicted by ABSI was compared to the actual death rate reported in the medical records.

RESULTS: There was a significant difference in the mean values of ABSI in survivors and deceased: 4.65 and 11, respectively. All with an ABSI value less than 3 survived. For ABSI values up to 10, a slightly lower mortality was reported than the predicted. For the values ≥11 they matched. Despite these discrepancies, we believe that ABSI is suitable for calculating the risk of death in thermal trauma, especially in more severe burns, where the threat to life is higher.

CONCLUSION: Three groups were differentiated with a sharp increase in the percentage of actually reported mortality. Their respective ABSI values can be taken as a reference for forensic medical practitioners in the classification of bodily injuries due to burns.


thermal injury; scoring systems; ABSI; trauma assessment; bodily injury

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About The Authors

Emiliya Mihaylova Kaisheva
Medical University of Varna

Department of Forensic Medicine and Deontology, Faculty of Medicine

Dobrinka Radoynova
Medical University of Varna

Department of Forensic Medicine and Deontology, Faculty of Medicine

Yolanda Zayakova
Naval Hospital of Varna, Military Medical Academy of Sofia

Clinic of Thermal Trauma, Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery

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