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Volume: 2 Issue: 4 December 2022


Codified Protocol for Systematic Data Collection on Burns


Details about the origin, content, and subsequent development of the Codified Protocol for the Collection of Data on Burns are presented. Reference is made for its progressive development, which began with only 3 groups of data until it reached the current protocol and which now consists of 14 groups of data. Because it was created in Argentina, the original protocol is in Spanish language, but some of the data has been translated to English. We look forward to its total translation in the near future, to allow its use in other countries.

KEY WORDS: Burn injuries, Diagnosis, Medical records, Treatment


Jointly with Drs. Santiago Santelis, Mehmet Haberal, and Mr. Gerardo Elam, we have published an article titled Electronic Protocol for Systematic Data Collection on Burn Patients, A Proposal to Standardize Burn Patient Data.”1 In this article, we reported the creation of a new system to collect data on burns and its application to a special clinical record designed for this objective. Here, new information about the protocol is provided, including its origin and content and how it was created.


In 1950,2,3 I was the chief of the Plastic Surgery Section at the General Surgery Service headed by Prof. Arnaldo Yodice, at the Cosme Argerich Hospital” in Buenos Aires, Argentina; it was there where I started the treatment of burn patients. I took pictures of them and their treatments, and I had to archive the slides with those pictures. For this reason, I needed to create a simple and practical way to retrieve data, and I had the idea to use a code with a combination of letters and numbers for their identification.

The first code had only 3 data collections points (Topography,” “Diagnostic,” and Treatment”) with 10 divisions for each one. The code was composed of a letter (the first letter of each data group) and numbers for their divisions. An example is shown for Topography” and its divisions in Table 1. Each division also has subdivisions; for example, some subdivisions for Face” are shown in Table 2. The same format was employed for the other data groups (Diagnostic” and Treatment”).

In 1956, I was elected Director of the National Burns and Plastic Surgery Institute in Buenos Aires, and, in 1997, we inaugurated the Centro de Excelencia Para la Atención de Quemaduras (Excellence Center for Treatment of Burns”),4 and I took those opportunities to improve the code, adding other data. To this end, 14 data groups were included, creating the Protocol for the Systematic Collection of Data on Burns.”


For the identification of this Protocol, I have gave it the acronym P.Re.S.Da.Q.” (Protocolo Para la Recolección Sistemática de Datos sobre Quemaduras or Protocol for Systematic Data Collection on Burns) with the initial letters in Spanish.

Because the Protocol was created in Spanish language, I translated it to English for each word to facilitate its understanding (Table 3). The 14 data collection points are shown in Table 4. These 14 data points are divided into 2 sections: fixed (Table 5) and variable (Table 6).


To use the Protocol, if one wants to identify a disease, one can combine the codes as explained here. For example, pneumonia would be coded as follows: (1) Topography (anatomic region) (T); (2) Organism = lung (Or.Ap.3.5); and (3) Diagnostic = inflammation (D.5). If it is an external injury, we combine Topography” and Diagnostic.” For example, a leg injury would be coded as (1) Topography (anatomic region) = leg (T:10.6) and (2) Diagnostic = injury (D.2). With the same system, it is possible to identify any internal or external pathology.


When we want to plan a research work (clinical or experimental), we need to prepare a protocol. This proposed protocol is useful for any work because it offers data collected systematically to allow comparing similar data. Furthermore, it may be used to archive any data related to burns and can be consulted in an easy way.


Here, more details of the Codified Protocol to Systematic Collection of Data on Burns” are presented in its origin in Spanish language, with the possibility to translate it to English. The utility of the Protocol is highlighted and recommended for research studies. The Protocol may also be used for the orderly archiving of burn data.


  1. Santelis S, Elam G, Haberal M, Benaim F. Electronic protocol for systematic data collection on burn patients. A proposal to standardize burn patients data. Burn Care Prevent. 2022;2(3):90-97.
  2. Benaim F. FisiopatologíayTratamiento de las Quemaduras. Resultados obtenidos con el Injerto de piel. Doctoral thesis. Medical School, Buenos Aires University; 1952.
  3. Benaim F. 65 años dedicados a la Medicina del Quemado. O.S.D.E. Buenos Aires; 2009.
  4. Benaim F. Benaim Burn Foundation in Argentina will celebrate this year its 40th anniversary. Burn Care Prevent. 2021;1(1):2-9.
  5. Benaim F. Contribution to the identification of burns according to depth and severity (global and regional) and to formulation of presumptive and definitive diagnosis and prognosis. Burn Care Prevent. 2021;1(4):111-117.
  6. Benaim F. Propuesta de un Protocolo Codificado para la recolección de datos sobre quemaduras e Historia Clínica Informatizada. Primera parte: Protocolo Codificado. Revista Argentina de Quemaduras. 2022;32(3):8-12.
  7. Benaim F, Santelis S. Historia Clínica Informatizada. Revista Argentina de Quemaduras. 2022;32(3)13-16.

Volume : 2
Issue : 4
Pages : 121 - 123


From the Benaim Burn Foundation
Acknowledgements: Fortunato Benaim is a full member of the National Academy of Medicine; honorary member of the National Academy of Medicine, Brazil; honorary member of the Academy of Medicine, Rio de Janeiro State; corresponding member of the Mexican Academy of Surgery; corresponding member of the Córdoba Academy of Medicine (Argentina); honorary member of the International Society for Burn Injuries; honorary member of the American Society of Burns; honorary Professor of Surgery, Buenos Aires University; consultant Professor of Plastic Surgery and Burns, Del Salvador University; Director of the Buenos Aires Burn Hospital (1956-1984); and Founder and President of Benaim Burn Foundation (1981-2017). The author has not received any funding or grants in support of the presented research or for the preparation of this work and has no declarations of potential conflicts of interest.
Those who are interested in receiving the complete protocol, please send an e-mail to: or
Corresponding author: Fortunato Benaim, Benaim Burn Foundation (www.fundacionbenaim)