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Invited Commentary
May 2015

Competing Risks and Burn Outcomes: More Questions Than Answers

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Utah, Salt Lake City
  • 2University of Utah Burn Center, Salt Lake City
JAMA Surg. 2015;150(5):456. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2014.3512

Age, total body surface area of burn injury, and inhalation injury have long been documented as independent predictors of mortality in burn injury1; all these factors are identifiable on admission. In this issue, Taylor et al2 propose the use of competing risk analysis to examine dynamic factors that may affect length of stay and mortality in patients with burns. Although this method is new in patients with burns, it was initially applied in a large cohort of patients with trauma more than a decade ago.3 Modeling outcomes in patients with complex conditions, such as burns and trauma, is inherently fraught with challenges.

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