Associations of urban versus rural patient residence on outcomes after burn: A national inpatient sample database study

Elizabeth Blears, Shih Chiang Edward Kuo, Rafael Felix P. Tiongco, Rachana Suresh, Carisa M. Cooney, Julie Caffrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Burn patients in rural areas may encounter poorer outcomes associated with barriers to care; however, residence has not been studied in a large sample. The association between rural-versus-urban residence and outcomes after burn was examined using the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) database. Methods: Using the 2019 NIS database, patients over 18 years with a primary diagnosis of burn or corrosive injury were included. Level of urbanization was categorized into six groups. Outcomes after burn such as in-hospital mortality, multifactorial shock, prolonged mechanical ventilation, length of stay, and total costs were analyzed after adjusting for demographic factors and hospital characteristics. Results: We included 4671 records, which represented a weighted population of 23,085 patients. Rural residence was associated with higher percentage of prior transfer but not in-hospital mortality. Compared to the most urbanized counties, encounters from the most rural counties were associated with higher odds of shock (aOR:2.62, 99% CI: 1.04–6.56, p = 0.007). Conclusion: Burn encounters from less urbanized counties did not experience differences in mortality, rates of skin grafting, prolonged mechanical ventilation, length of stay, or overall costs. However, odds of shock were higher among the least urbanized counties. Despite improved triage and transportation systems across the US, disparities and challenges exist for burn patients from rural residence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1463-1474
Number of pages12
Issue number6
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Burn
  • Mortality
  • Outcomes
  • Rural
  • Urban

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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