Prehospital paediatric burn care: new priorities in paramedic reporting

Fein, Mikaela, Quinn, Jamie, Watt, Kerrianne, Nichols, Tara, Kimble, Roy, and Cuttle, Leila (2014) Prehospital paediatric burn care: new priorities in paramedic reporting. Emergency Medicine Australasia, 26 (6). pp. 609-615.

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The present study evaluates the prehospital care of paediatric burn patients in Queensland (QLD). As first aid (FA) treatment has been shown to affect burn progression and outcome, the FA treatment and the risk of associated hypothermia in paediatric patients were specifically examined in the context of paramedic management of burn patients.


Data were retrospectively collected from electronic ambulance response forms (eARFs) for paediatric burn patients (0–5 years) who were attended by Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) from 2008 to 2010. Data were collected from 117 eARFs of incidents occurring within the Brisbane, Townsville and Cairns regions.


Initial FA measures were recorded in 77.8% of cases, with cool running water FA administered in 56.4% of cases. The duration of FA was recorded in 29.9% of reports. The duration of FA was significantly shorter for patients in Northern QLD (median = 10 min, n = 10) compared with Brisbane (median = 15 min, n = 18), P = 0.005. Patient temperatures were recorded significantly more often in Brisbane than in other regions (P = 0.041); however, in total, only 24.8% of all patients had documented temperature readings. Of these, six (5%) were recorded as having temperatures ≤36.0°C. BurnaidTM was the most commonly used dressing and was applied to 55.6% of all patients; however, it was applied with a variety of different outer dressings. Brisbane paramedics applied Burnaid significantly less often (44.3%) compared with paramedics from Northern QLD (72.7%) and Far Northern QLD (60.9%), P = 0.025.


Despite FA and patient temperatures being important prognostic factors for burn patients, paramedic documentation of these was often incomplete, and there was no consistent use of burns dressings.

Item ID: 37059
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1742-6723
Keywords: burn, dressing, first aid, hypothermia, pain, temperature
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2015 07:52
Downloads: Total: 3
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