BOSTON -- Doctors can predict the survival chances of burn victims by assessing the extent of their burns, their age and whether they have lung damage, a study found.
Boston doctors said their simple formula can help doctors predict quickly which patients will live and which will die.
The three critical factors they identified are:
If the victim has none of these conditions, the chances of death are slight, well under 1 percent. If one of these factors is present, the risk of death is 3 percent. With two of them, it is 33 percent, and with all three, it is 90 percent.
The study, done by Dr. Colleen M. Ryan and others, was based on a review of 1,665 patients between 1990 and 1994 at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Shringers Burns Institute in Boston.