Analysis and Description of Suicidal Burns Admitted to Al-Fayhaa General Hospital in Basra, Iraq

  • Mustafa Al-Shamsi Department of Public Health, Iraqi Ministry of Health, Basra, Iraq.
  • Nasih Othman Kurdistan Institution for Strategic Studies and Scientific Research, Sulaimaniyah, Iraq.
Keywords: Suicide, Self-burning, Iraq, Basra, Burns


Suicide by self-burning remains a common method of suicide amongst women in Iraq and some neighboring countries. This study aimed to describe the problem of self-burning in Basra province and investigate the associated factors. A prospective study was undertaken between October 2016 and May 2017 in Al-Fayhaa Burn Center. Data were collected from all patients admitted to the center for a self-inflicted burn. Sociodemographic information and cause of suicide were obtained using an interviewer-administered questionnaire, and clinical data were transcribed from hospital records. There were 62 cases (females 74%, males 26%) of self-burning during the 6 months data collection accounting for 22% of all burn admission. The age ranged from 9-56 years (mean 25.3, SD 10.8 year). The vast majority had no or only basic education (92%), 55% were married, 60% were from outside Basra city and 53% considered themselves from a poor socioeconomic background. The incident mostly occurred at home (84%) while the person was alone (91%) using kerosene as the burning material (82%). The total burn surface area ranged from 20-100% with a median of 80% (IQR 60-95). The median hospital stay was 5 days (IQR 1-12 days). In-hospital mortality rate was 72.6%. Suicide by self-burning seems not to be uncommon in Basra and require more attention from public health and social services. More research is required to provide a better estimation of the problem and in-depth understanding of the factors that contribute to the problem.


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How to Cite
Al-Shamsi M, Othman N. Analysis and Description of Suicidal Burns Admitted to Al-Fayhaa General Hospital in Basra, Iraq. Acta Med Iran. 56(5):314-319.
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