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First aid for children's burns in the US and UK: An urgent call to establish and promote international standards

Bennett, C Verity ORCID:, Maguire, Sabine, Nuttall, Diane ORCID:, Lindberg, Daniel M., Moulton, Steven, Bajaj, Lalit, Kemp, Alison M. and Mullen, Stephen 2019. First aid for children's burns in the US and UK: An urgent call to establish and promote international standards. Burns 45 (2) , pp. 440-449. 10.1016/j.burns.2018.09.003

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Introduction Appropriate first aid can reduce the morbidity of burns, however, there are considerable variations between international first aid recommendations. We aim to identify, and compare first aid practices in children who present to Emergency Departments (ED) with a burn. Methods A prospective cross-sectional study of 500 children (0–16 completed years) presenting with a burn to a paediatric ED in the UK (Cardiff) and the USA (Denver, Colorado), during 2015–2017. The proportion of children who had received some form of first aid and the quality of first aid were compared between cities. Results Children attending hospital with a burn in Cardiff were 1.47 times more likely (RR 1.47; CI 1.36, 1.58), to have had some form of first aid than those in Denver. Denver patients were 4.7 time more likely to use a dressing and twice as likely to apply ointment/gel/aloe vera than the Cardiff cohort. First aid consistent with local recommendations was only administered to 26% (128/500) of children in Cardiff and 6% (31/500) in Denver. Potentially harmful first aid e.g. application of food, oil, toothpaste, shampoo or ice was applied to 5% of children in Cardiff and 10% in Denver. Conclusion A low number of children received optimal burns first aid, with potentially harmful methods applied in a considerable proportion of cases. There is an urgent need for internationally agreed, evidence-based burn first aid recommendations.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0305-4179
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 September 2018
Date of Acceptance: 5 September 2018
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2023 11:18

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