Study Identifies Top 7 Utah Counties with Highest Risk of Burn Injury

Burn injuries are common in the United States, with the American Burn Association estimating that about 486,000 people are admitted to U.S. hospitals and emergency departments for burns every year.  Fires and severe burn injuries can occur anywhere in Utah, but studies have shown that residents of certain counties are at an elevated risk.  Is your county among them?

Carbon County Has the Highest Rate of Burn Injuries in Utah

In 2009 and 2010, the Journal of Burn Care & Research published two medical studies on locations and demographics with the highest risk of being burned in Utah, based on research conducted by the University of Utah.  According to these studies:

  • Children under age five have higher rates of burn injury than any other demographic.
  • Adults aged 65 or older have the lowest rate of injury at 3% (about 750 burns).
  • Men are more likely to be burned than women. Men account for 61% of burns in Utah (about 15,210 injuries), while women account for 39% (about 9,725 injuries).
  • People aged 17 or younger account for approximately one third of burn injuries (about 8,230 cases).

The studies, which examined nearly 25,000 injuries over a five-year period, also singled out counties in Utah where burns were most (and least) likely to occur.  Researchers for the University of Utah’s College of Nursing divided the state’s 29 counties into four categories: high risk, moderate-high risk, moderate-low risk, and low risk, as you can see on the map.  Seven counties were identified as being high risk, listed below in ascending order:

  • Juab County
  • Sevier County
  • Grand County
  • Beaver County
  • Duchesne County
  • Uintah County
  • Carbon County

Five of these counties in particular – Beaver, Carbon, Duchesne, Grand, and Juab – also had the highest risk for female victims.

All of the high-risk counties were sparsely populated, being categorized as either “frontier” (population of two to six residents per square mile) or “rural” (population of seven to 99 residents per square mile).  Researchers have observed this trend in locations all over the world, ranging from Turkey to Nepal to Colorado; though on the other hand, residents of densely populated and urban areas are more prone to bone fractures and firearm injuries.

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Source: “Using Probabilistic Linkage and Geographic Information Systems to Describe Burn Injury Risk in Utah,” University of Utah, May 2008

Counties with moderate-high risk were:

  • Box Elder County
  • Cache County
  • Emery County
  • Iron County
  • Millard County
  • Wasatch County

Counties with moderate-low risk were:

  • Daggett County
  • Garfield County
  • Kane County
  • Salt Lake County
  • Sanpete County
  • Tooele County
  • Utah County

Counties with the lowest risk of burn injuries were:

  • Davis County
  • Morgan County
  • Piute County
  • Rich County
  • San Juan County
  • Summit County
  • Washington County
  • Wayne County

If you’d like to look at the studies for yourself, see:

  • Journal of Burn Care & Research (“Burn Injury in Utah: Demographic and Geographic Risks”)
  • University of Utah (“Using Probabilistic Linkage of Multiple Databases to Describe Burn Injuries in Utah”)

You may also be interested in our article on how third degree burns are treated, which talks about skin grafting surgery and describes some of the ways hospitals stabilize burn victims who have just been admitted for care.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer if You Were Burned or Scalded in an Accident

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While the risk of injury may be highest in Carbon County, people in any part of Utah can become the victims of serious, life-threatening burns when negligent individuals make careless mistakes or unsafe decisions.  Burns can also be caused by defective products, such as fireworks, gas grills, electric blankets, or the lithium ion batteries used in e-cigarettes, which can malfunction and explode.

A serious burn is absolutely devastating, but know that injury victims in Utah have legal rights.  If you or one of your family members was scalded or burned in an accident due to the negligent acts of another person, you need experienced legal representation.  Depending on how and why your accident occurred, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries, including medical bills, lost income, reduced earning capacity, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other expenses and hardships caused by your injury.

To set up a free legal consultation about your Utah burn injury claim, call the law offices of Overson Law at (801) 895-3143.  Salt Lake City personal injury attorney Darwin Overson has over 33 years of experience helping injury victims seek compensation.  He handles claims involving thermal burns, electrical burns, chemical burns, radiation burns, laser burns, and steam or scald injuries.

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