Self inflicted burn; a high tide

Syed Mohammed Tahir, Abdul Razak Memon, Mahesh Kumar, Syed Asad Ali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To highlight the demographic profile, various methods of self inflicted burn, and to probe into the problem by knowing various precipitating factors that may lead to self inflicted burn in our part of the country. Patients and Methods: This is a study of 154 cases of self-inflicted burns treated at the Burn Emergency Unit of Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences Jamshoro Pakistan, during a period of 08 years. These self inflicted burns, were divided into two groups, those with suicidal intent called suicide attempter and those who mutilate themselves as self immolator. Except that these patients throughout the period of their hospital stay were under surveillance of a psychiatrist, they were managed according to the routine protocol of our unit. The patients were analyzed with respect to age, sex, method used for self inflicted burns, place of burn, psychiatric history, interpersonal problems, total body surface area (TBSA) burnt, depth of burn and outcome. The continuous variables were compared using t-test while for categorical data chi-square test was used. SPSS 15 was used as statistical software. Results: The prevalence of self inflicted burns was 9. 80% with a consistent rise in number of self inflicted burns from 2001 through 2008. The self immolators were significantly younger then suicide attempters. Males dominated in self immolators, while in suicide attempters female outnumbered males. The mean TBSA affected was significantly higher in suicide attempters when compared to self immolators. The mean hospital stay did not differ significantly in both groups. The mortality for self immolators was 6. 38%, in contrast to suicide attempter where it was 33. 65%. Conclusion: The radical change in the socioeconomic condition of common people, traditional joint family system, political system and justice, has reflected as increased prevalence of self infliction both as self mutilators and suicide attempters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-341
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the Pakistan Medical Association
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes


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