Browsing Publications - South East Coast Ambulance Service by Author "Ashman, Harriet"
The assessment and management of thermal burn injuries in a UK ambulance service: a clinical auditAshman, Harriet; Rigg, Dean; Moore, Fionna (2020-12-01)Background: Although burn emergencies are infrequently encountered, the ambulance service is often the first point of contact for patients in these situations. It is therefore important that these potentially devastating injuries are managed in accordance with the evidence base. Appropriate assessment and management of these patients in the pre-hospital phase will have a significant impact upon their long-term outcomes, such as scarring cosmesis and functionality. Aim and objectives: This audit was conducted to determine if patients presenting to one UK ambulance service with thermal burn injuries were managed safely, effectively and in a timely manner. Areas highlighted for improvement will assist in directing future pre-hospital research and educational requirements. Epidemiological data will also be provided. Results: 278 thermal burn incidents occurring from June 2017 to May 2018 (inclusive) were included in this audit. A larger proportion of burn patients were paediatrics who fell into the 0-10 age category, most burn patients were injured at a home address and only nine of the overall sample were major burns. Only 35% of patients received adequate cooling of their burns, an essential first aid intervention. The assessment of pain (87%) and provision of analgesia (75%) showed a higher compliance rate. However, only 54% had pain reassessed after analgesia. There was a near 100% compliance rate for patients being managed without hydrogel dressings and topical medicines. Conclusion: The results indicate several areas for improvement within the ambulance trust. Of importance is the application of basic first aid, such as cooling. It is important not only to improve education among staff but also to understand non-compliance. It should be acknowledged that assessment of pain and provision of analgesia demonstrated far higher compliance compared to current pre-hospital evidence. Several points for education and research have been identified. Abstract published with permission.