First aid for burns: too little, too late and often wrong

Ela J Hyland, John G Harvey and Andrew J A Holland
Med J Aust 2014; 200 (2): . || doi: 10.5694/mja13.11179
Published online: 3 February 2014

To the Editor: The Australian and New Zealand Burns Association (ANZBA) defines adequate first aid for acute burns as 20 minutes of cold running water within the first 3 hours of a burn injury.1 Despite first aid campaigns, inappropriate and inadequate first aid treatment for burns continues to occur.2

  • The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, NSW.



We would like to acknowledge the State Burn Injury Service, New South Wales, for its valuable contribution.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

  • 1. Australian and New Zealand Burns Association. Emergency management of severe burns manual. 8th ed. Sydney: The Education Committee of the Australian and New Zealand Burns Association Ltd, 2008.
  • 2. Davies M, Maguire S, Okolie C, et al. How much do parents know about first aid for burns? Burns 2013; 39: 1083-1090.
  • 3. Barlett N, Yuan J, Holland AJ, et al. Optimal duration of cooling for an acute scald contact burn injury in a porcine model. J Burn Care Res 2008; 29: 828-834.
  • 4. Cuttle L, Pearn J, McMillan JR, Kimble RM. A review of first aid treatments for burn injuries. Burns 2009; 35: 768-775.


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