A Survey of Characteristics of Self-Immolation in the East of Iran

  • Omid Mehrpour Mail Medical Toxicology and Drug Abuse Research Center (MTDRC), Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand, Iran. AND Department of Clinical Toxicology and Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Birjand University of Medical Sciences(BUMS), Birjand, Iran.
  • Seyed Alireza Javadinia Medical Toxicology and Drug Abuse Research Center (MTDRC), Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand, Iran. AND Department of Clinical Toxicology and Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Birjand University of Medical Sciences(BUMS), Birjand, Iran.
  • Claudia Malic Department of Plastic Surgery, Frenchay Hospital, Bristol, United Kingdom.
  • Saeed Dastgiri Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, National Public Health Management Centre, Tabriz, Iran. AND School of Public Health and Nutrition, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
  • Alireza Ahmadi Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care, and Pain Management, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran. AND Department of Public Health Sciences, Division of Social Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
Self-immolation, Prognosis, Iran, South Khorasan


The aim of this study was investigating the characteristic and outcome of self-immolation cases admitted to the Burn Centre of Birjand, Iran over an eight year period. This study is a retrospective review of case notes for patients with self-Immolation and admitted to our referral burn centre in the last 8 years (January 2003-January 2011). A performa was designed to collect the data such as: demographic information, length of hospital stay, extent of the burn injuries as %TBSA (Total Body Surface Area) and final outcome. Data was analyzed by SPSS software. Between 2003 and 2011, 188 self-immolation cases admitted. The mean age was 26.97 ±12.6 years. Female to male ratio was 1.7:1. Housewives represented the largest group (43.1%) and kerosene was the most frequent agent used (74.6%). There was significant different between mortality and TBSA and low educational level (P=0.0001). There was a significant fluctuation time trend in the incidence (per 100,000 population) of self-immolation from 2003 (4.64, CI 95%: 4.62-4.65) to 2008 (5.2, CI 95%: 5.19-5.21). Mortality rate was 64%. The survival rates at three weeks survival for patients who self-immolated was 24 percent (CI 95%: 17-31). The mean and median survival times were 6 days (CI 95%: 4.8-7.2) and 17.5 days (CI 95%: 13.3-21.6), respectively. Our study has shown a lower incidence of self-immolation (5.3%) in the South Khorasan region, when compared with other parts of Iran, as well as a relatively low mortality rate. We have also reported self-immolation in pregnant women which has rarely been reported in medical literature.


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How to Cite
Mehrpour O, Javadinia SA, Malic C, Dastgiri S, Ahmadi A. A Survey of Characteristics of Self-Immolation in the East of Iran. Acta Med Iran. 50(5):328-334.