Did you know burns “affect at least 1% of Australians each year, although the number is probably higher due to the under-reporting of minor burn injuries. The majority of injuries are caused by scalds from hot liquids, contact with hot objects and fire. However mechanisms such as friction burns, for example from treadmills, are becoming more prevalent.”
The enclosed article provides good information and was published this month in the Australian Prescriber. In part the article identifies the following:
- “The first aid for burns is to run cold water over the burn for 20 minutes. This is effective for up to three hours after the injury.
- Assess the affected body surface area using the rule of nines. Consult a burn unit if more than 5% of the total body surface area is burnt in a child or if more than 10% in an adult.
- Extensive or deep burns and burns to special areas, such as the hands, should be referred. Chemical or electrical burns should also be assessed by a burn unit.
- For minor burns, antimicrobial dressings are recommended, but oral antibiotics should be avoided unless there are signs of infection. As burns are tetanus prone, check the patient’s immunisation status.
- Burns that become infected or are slow to heal should be discussed with a burn unit. The burn unit can also provide advice if there are uncertainties about how to manage a patient.
- Capillary refill is a good indicator of the depth of the burn. Any burn that is only erythematous and does not have blisters or a break in the skin is superficial.
- Ice is never appropriate first aid for burns, as it can deepen these injuries and cause hypothermia.”
The article provides additional information on what products are currently recommended in regards to post burns management . All Nurses will find this article interesting. The Nurses for Nurses Network has a great range of Nursing Education and Nursing activities for Nurses who work in the real world where Nurses are often time poor and resource limited!