News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


First aid knowledge for burns needed

First aid knowledge for burns needed

A study in today’s issue of the New Zealand Medical Journal reinforces the need for people to know simple first aid procedures for burns.

The study, of 165 Middlemore Hospital patients, showed that only 40 percent of burns patients received adequate burns first aid treatment. Seventy percent of children had received inadequate treatment.

The correct first aid treatment for burns is to immerse the burned body part under cold running tap water for at least 10 minutes. Cooling of the burned tissue is an important process in limiting the degree of tissue damage, according to the study, Burns treatment for children and adults: a study of initial burns first aid and hospital care.

Parents of young children, in particular, should be remember this simple advice about treating burns before seeking medical treatment, said Dr Tricia Briscoe, who chairs the NZMA's GP Council.

“Applying the correct first aid treatment reduces the severity of the burn injury, and reduces the need for medical procedures, particularly for scalds which children are more likely to get.

If cold running water is not available, milk or soft drinks are effective first aid treatments for burns. Ice should never be used to cool a burn, and applying butter or toothpaste will have no effect on the cooling process, and may contribute to further tissue destruction.

The study showed that patients who had received adequate burns first aid treatment were less likely to need skin grafting treatment, and may stay in hospital for less time. For scalds in particular, adequate burns first aid treatment reduced the need for skin grafting procedures from 20 percent to 4 percent.

The study’s authors, medical student Adrian Skinner and plastic surgeon Bruce Peat, have called for a national education strategy to increase knowledge among the public about the importance of burns first aid treatment with cold water.

The study is attached separately.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland